More snow on and off the next few days; Loveland Pass remains closed Sunday afternoon, only minor delays in the I-70 corridor
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The first impulse of the weekend winter storm roared across the Colorado high country with hurricane-force winds, snarling roads, downing trees and knocking out power for a time Saturday night.
Near Silverthorne, resident Ken Hollis said he lost a 90-f00t-tall evergreen in his backyard up on the slopes of Buffalo Mountain.
Via Facebook, Claudia York reported:
“Power out on Hwy 9 at Tiger Road for 4 hours last night. Two big lodgepoles down at DNR Kennels along the bike trail. The wind picked up a heavy bench off my porch and threw it into my garden plot. Crazy night with no snow!”
Stephen Catterall from Breckenridge (via Facebook):
“Tree down at Gold Camp condos on Ski Hill Road. Just missed a classic Toyota Land Cruiser.”
National Weather Service spotters reported gusts of 115 mph in Frisco and Breckenridge, and an automated weather site near Berthoud Pass reported sustained winds of 86 mph before the anemometer broke. Loveland Pass and Kenosha Pass also saw gusts of up to 100 mph. Wind speeds reported during the storm are online at this National Weather Service website. From the Bill’s Ranch neighborhood, near Frisco, Kate Hudnut reported:
“We lost two trees and a swing set in our yard in Bill’s Ranch. Lots of trees down in the neighborhood but we have not heard if any houses were damaged.”
Bill’s Ranch residents commented that the trees being knocked down are trees that were still alive, rather than beetle-killed trees, probably because many of the live trees are standing singly, exposed to the wind, and the live boughs create a sail against the wind.
Kally Kuhlmann said her neighborhood up on Buffalo Mountain lost power 5 times in a two-hour period early Sunday morning.
I-70 was closed at Georgetown Saturday night, but re-opened early Sunday morning. Loveland Pass remained closed as of 9 a.m. Sunday. Get road reports at http://www.cotrip.org.
More real-time weather info streaming on Twitter at the #cowx hashtag.
The storm didn’t deliver huge amounts of snow, with isolated readings of 6 inches across parts of the northern mountains and 5 inches at Loveland Pass. Copper reported 3 inches, and Steamboat (opening Nov. 23) reported 7 inches at mid-mountain.
A second wave of moisture was moving into the area Sunday morning, with snow expected to continue across the high country through the evening.
This story is being updated, check back for more details.
More photos of downed trees in the Wildernest Area, courtesy Ken Hollis: