Blizzard Update - March 13, 2 p.m.
A blizzard is bearing down hard on El Paso County and Colorado Springs today. The Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency ManagementThe City and County are consolidating their Offices of Emergency Management in an effort to optimize staff resources, establish a single point of contact during major incidences and enhance communication both during and after an event. The new office, the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management (PPR-OEM) will support operations during a disaster or emergency in El Paso County and Colorado Springs.Because disaster knows no jurisdictional boundaries, we can most efficiently prepare for an emergency and respond to one by coordinating our efforts on a regional basis. The establishment of the PPR-OEM will allow the county and the city to more effectively coordinate and assist first responders in an emergency as well as preparing the government and the community for a disaster. (combined El Paso County and Colorado Springs OEM), has been activated since 8 a.m. this morning.
Thank you to all who have heeded the weather warnings and stayed home today. Keeping streets clear is incredibly important for our roads crews, police and firefighters to respond as needed. There are approximately 500 stranded drivers in Colorado Springs and El Paso County right now. In addition to being dangerous for people who are out on the road, drivers who are trying to navigate dangerous roads are impeding snowplows, emergency vehicles and law enforcement.
This storm is incredibly dangerous and expected to intensify this afternoon. Snow accumulations may not be significant, but very heavy wet snow and damaging winds along the Interstate 25 corridor and to the east will make travel dangerous. We have recorded wind gusts of as high as 96 mph at the Colorado Springs Airport.
- Roads are extremely dangerous. Public urged to stay off the roads.
- If you must travel, be sure to carry winter weather supplies and dress appropriately.
- Slow down and allow plenty of stopping distance.
- Treat intersections with flashing or snow-covered traffic signal as four way stops.
- Check road conditions at www.cotrip.org.
- This weather is dangerous even for snow plow crews with the high wind limited visibility. Give them room!
- If you get stuck in your car, call 911 to let us know. If you keep your car running, keep exhaust pipe clear so it can vent properly to lower risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Colorado Springs Police Department and State Patrol are both on cold reporting.
- City and County snow crews have been on full call out with 95 plows and trucks and 20 graders since 5 this a.m. and will continue to be for the duration, working hard to try and keep up with the storm.
- Customers can report and monitor power outages at www.csu.org using the outage map. Call 448-4800 to report downed power lines.
- High winds may cause downed trees and impact power.
- For trees or branches that are blocking the road call 385-ROAD. If it is an emergency, you can call the Colorado Springs Police Department's Dispatch at 719-444-7000.
- Do not approach compromised trees or those that are touching power lines. Trees or branches that have fallen on power lines or transformers should be reported to Colorado Springs Utilities at 448-4800.
- Fallen trees and branches on private property are the responsibility of the property owner.
Please follow the City of Colorado Springs @CityofCOS and @EPCPIO on Twitter for updates throughout the storm. Facebook is currently experiencing technical difficulties.