Helpline created for El Paso County residents following wind storm

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - As communities continue to recover from Monday's wind storms El Paso County is setting up a helpline for residents in need.

Powerful winds Monday and Tuesday ripped out trees, toppled semis, and left plenty of damage for El Paso County residents to clean up. (Photo: Chris Pierce)

Anyone who needs help finding resources, as well as senior or disabled residents who need help with debris cleanup, may call 719-575-8888.

Anyone needing help finding shelter or housing assistance in Colorado Springs can call Colorado Springs Utilities at 719-448-4800.

El Paso County provided the following power outage safety tips:

• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. For more information about food safety click here.

• Only use flashlights for emergency lighting; candles can cause fires.

• Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn
charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm. Do NOT use fuel-burning cooking appliances indoors or inside garages or covered porch areas.

• Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.

• Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage. Never connect it to a home electrical system unless it is designed and intended for that use.