A quick-moving cold front from Wyoming blasted into Colorado early Monday with high wind gusts and blowing snow.
High wind advisories were issued for the Eastern Plains, Fort Collins, and from Pueblo to Trinidad. Gusts of 41 and 36 miles-per-hour were reported in Akron and Loveland respectively before the front moved through Denver and on to Colorado Springs by the morning rush hour.
Colorado Springs police reported numerous accidents and switched to "Cold Reporting" for the day. Officials with the Colorado Springs Street Division predicted the Monday evening commute home to be just as bad as the drive in the morning. All the moisture that turned to slush Monday afternoon is expected to freeze.
The streets were slow and dangerous for anyone trying to get to work Monday morning. "I got on I-25 at 8. Got to the Academy exit. I got off, turned around and went back home," said Toni Bodovinac. "It was difficult in some spots. I couldn't see lanes. People were making up their own lanes," said Lori Warnick. "When it's icy, it doesn't matter if all four wheels are working or just one. If it's slippery you're not going to be able to stop in time," said Michael Reece.
City street crews were on “full callout” status since before dawn. That means every snowplow and sander are on the job. But the wind has been a problem for crews putting down the anti-skid material. "The wind, in a lot of cases, was blowing it away as fast as we were placing it," said Randy Zettlemoyer with the city.
Colorado Department of Transportation officials say the main problem was visibility and blowing snow.
Click on the Weather page to see meteorologist Mike Madson's forecast.
kktv.com Extended Web Coverage
A Motorists Guide to Winter Driving
- To minimize the chances of a weather-related delay, plan ahead with safety in mind.
- Always be sure to check the forecast; if a winter storm is predicted for the area in which you will be driving, think twice, or ask yourself if the trip is necessary.
- Always have an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small shovel, an ice scraper, antifreeze, blankets; nonperishable food; and a first aid kit.
Starting Your Car
- Be sure to turn off all accessories (radio, heater, lights etc.) before starting your car. This will maximize your battery's starting power.
- If your car has a fuel injection system, don't touch the accelerator pedal. For carbureted cars, depress the accelerator once before attempting to start the vehicle. Then, simply turn the key and hold it for a few seconds.
Handling Roadside Emergencies
- Pull as far off the road as possible. This helps to avoid getting hit by another vehicle.
- Indicate trouble by opening the hood and turning on the vehicle's emergency flashers. Place a "Call Police" sign in the rear window.
- Stay in the car. Avoid the temptation of accepting a ride with a stranger. Instead, if someone offers help, ask him or her to notify the police if you do not own a cell phone. Leave only with a marked police car or a state or city emergency vehicle.
- Don't walk or hitchhike, both of which invite trouble-you could either get caught in a storm, or be forced in a dangerous situation involving strangers.
- Always wear seatbelts.
- Remove ice and snow from windows, license plates and lights. Also be sure to clear snow from the vehicle's hood, roof and trunk.
- Reduce your speed while driving. The posted speed limits are for dry, clear conditions only.
- Watch for slick spots under bridges and on overpasses.
- Keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle's fuel line from freezing.
Source: www.icepack.org contributed to this report.