Cleanup Begins After Storm Dumps Record-Setting Snow, Downs Tree Limbs

Residents are cleaning up after a late winter storm blew through the Pikes Peak region, downing tree limbs, closing and delaying schools, and creating sloppy and hazardous driving conditions.

The National Weather Service in Pueblo says a record 2.9 inches of snow was officially measured Monday at the Colorado Springs Airport, with two additional inches on Tuesday. The previous records were just a trace in 2001 and 1951, respectively. The agency says much more snow fell north and east of the airport and localized snow totals varied. The snow came on the heels of record rainfall in Colorado Springs, with 1.71 inches measured at the airport Monday, breaking the previous record set in 1900, according to the National Weather Service.

Colorado Springs is requesting residents report fallen branches or trees in the public right of way through a link on their website, noting that the city will only respond to downed city trees or those creating a safety hazard such as involving a power line.

"Mostly what I saw was broken branches on silver maples and Siberian elms," said City Forester Dennis Will at a press conference Tuesday. "It was quite prevalent across the community."

The city said in a press release Tuesday that the Forestry Department is working to identify and prioritize damaged city trees, and cleanup work could take several weeks, depending on the number of trees and amount of debris reported.

Downed trees and limbs on private property are the responsibility of the homeowner.

Elsewhere in Southern Colorado, the National Weather Service in Pueblo reports that the Steel City received a record rainfall Monday, with 1.35 inches recorded at the airport. That breaks the old record of just shy of an inch set on May 20, 1900. Alamosa also saw a record amount of snow on Tuesday with 1.5 inches, breaking the previous record of a trace set last year.

A freeze warning and frost advisory are in effect for Southern Colorado through Wednesday morning, May 22, 2019.
Credit National Weather Service
A freeze warning and frost advisory are in effect for Southern Colorado through Wednesday morning, May 22, 2019.

A freeze warning is in effect for El Paso County through 9 a.m. Wednesday, while a frost advisory is in effect for much of Southern Colorado, including Pueblo, Otero, and eastern Las Animas Counties.