~ by Trevor Phipps ~
So far this winter, Mother Nature has been kind to the Teller County area, with the lack of severe Nordic weather and huge snow storms.
The climate has blessed the area with warm, clear days that are not common during winter in the high country. However, possibly as a way to answer the cries for moisture coming from local firefighters, Teller County was recently given a test to see if residents were ready for the snowy season.
And apparently, many local motorists failed this test badly.
On Jan. 10 at around 5 p.m., the Teller County region received a snow storm that dumped around two inches of snow into the area in a short period of time. The snow started right around sunset and the temperature dropped. The time of day the short storm blew through the county caused problems with commuter traffic during rush hour.
The snow hit the ground and immediately froze, causing roads in Teller County to become extremely icy. At around 6 p.m., local law enforcement agencies and emergency responders got inundated with a large number of car accident calls.
The large number of accidents motivated the Woodland Park Police Department to put out a Nixle alert at around 6:30 p.m. stating that the city was on cold reporting for accidents. The alert also warned citizens to, “Use extra caution if you must drive tonight, the roads are very icy.”
The Teller County Sheriff’s Office also put an alert out to the public during the snow storm last Wednesday night. “Be advised: Highway 24 in the area of Pikes Peak Regional Hospital and Bluebird Hill is extremely icy; multiple vehicles already sliding off; use caution,” the sheriff department alert warned.
Due to the timing of the storm, the snow did not affect the local school or government schedules on Thursday morning. It did snow a bit more Thursday morning, but the snow totals were only in the two inch range.
The next day the back roads in Woodland Park and Cripple Creek still resembled an ice skating rink, but Hwys. 24 and 67 were only icy in a small number of shady spots.