LIVE UPDATES: Weather event with high winds downing trees, causing power outages
4 p.m.: The city of Steamboat Springs has reported that its Streets Division has been out since the early hours clearing downed trees from roadways to make sure critical routes remain passable. After clearing trees off roads, city crews will return to remove any trees that fell from the city’s right of way. According to the city, 95% of the downed trees are from private property, so owners will be ultimately responsible for their removal and clean up.
3:45 p.m.: Yampa Valley Electric Association is continuing to experience outages due to weather conditions, and crews are out working to restore power.
Currently, there is an outage on U.S. Highway 40 west affecting 1,399 members. There is also an outage at the Brooklyn Substation in Steamboat Springs affecting 2,769 members, and power has been restored to approximately half of those affected.
Outages also remain in the Fish Creek Falls area, the Buff Pass, Strawberry Park and lower Routt County 129 area and the Craig and Sunbeam areas.
Power has been restored in Fairview, Dream Island and on 13th Street in Steamboat and in the McCoy area in South Routt County.
Visit https://www.yvea.com/outage-center to view an outage map.
12:30 p.m.: Rabbit Ears Pass has reopened. Drivers are reminded to use caution as the roads are still icy and there is blowing snow, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Noon: Steamboat Pilot & Today photographer John F. Russell was out early this morning taking photos of Steamboat Springs’ first snowstorm of the season.
11:15 a.m.: There are reports of large downed trees across Steamboat Springs. Here is a photo sent in by Frances Hohl, which was taken on Val d’Isere in the mountain area. If you have photos to share, send them to email@example.com.
10:25 a.m.: Rabbit Ears Pass outside Steamboat Springs is temporarily closed due to inclement weather and safety concerns.
As of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, U.S. Highway 40 is closed from mile markers 139 to 154, according to Elise Thatcher, regional communications manager with the Colorado Department of Transportation. There is no estimated time for reopening.
Another safety closure is in effect on the eastbound lane of U.S. 40 starting at its intersection with Colorado Highway 14.
A third closure along U.S. 40 is in effect for westbound traffic starting at mile marker 178 due to a commercial vehicle crash, according to Thatcher.
For an alternate, eastbound route outside of Steamboat she recommends using Colorado Highway 131 to Colorado Highway 134, which connects to Highway 40 a few miles northwest of Kremmling.
If it makes people more comfortable, Thatcher also recommends driving down Highway 131 to Interstate 70 to travel east.
“For a lot of folks, it’s been a while since they’ve been winter driving,” Thatcher said. “Now is not the time to drive a road you’re not familiar with.”
Drivers should travel at slower speeds in inclement weather and pull over if they feel unsafe. They also should pack food, water and fill up on gas before leaving on longer trips. For more information on road closures, visit cotrip.org.
10:15 a.m.: Yampa Valley Electric Association is reporting power outages due to current weather conditions. Areas affected at this time are: Fish Creek Falls; Buff Pass; Strawberry Park area; Fairview, 13th Street and Dream Island; Craig and Sunbeam areas; McCoy area in South Routt. According to Tammi Strickland, YVEA communications specialist, crews have been dispatched and working to restore power as soon as possible. With the weather conditions, members can expect intermittent outages.
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