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Snowy surprise for out of town guests in Woodland Park - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Snowy surprise for out of town guests in Woodland Park

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It was an off again, on again type of day in Woodland Park where a late Spring snow storm dropped several inches during the morning, then blue skies and sunshine dried out the streets over the lunch hour. A new band of snow hit later in the afternoon leaving wet, slushy roads to greet drivers on their way home.

The snowfall coated pine trees around Santa's Workshop in Cascade, giving the theme park a natural Winter Wonderland appearance just days before they open for the season. It also caused a willow branch to fall on power lines behind the Crystola Roadhouse.  

Employees tell us the lights were back on in less than 90 minutes.  According to the Intermountain Rural Electrical Association, it was the largest of three power outages to hit the area Thursday morning, affecting some 150 customers. A fallen tree branch and excess snow on the line cause the other two. Locals say power outages are just part of mountain living.

"I'm usually prepared. I keep some oil lamps ready, some candles, a kerosene heater if you need it, you know and extra gas tank for the propane grill," said Jimmy Odom who lives in Cascade. "It's no big deal."

It wasn't the type of weather the Brundrett family expected when they planned a week-long vacation here from Texas. 

"The forecast changed on us, so we're going to plan B," explained Chuck Brundrett. That plan included visiting the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center with their daughter and granddaughter from Castle Rock.

"We've had 90-95 degrees and now its snowing outside and getting down to 28 outside where we're staying. That's very, very cold for Texans."

Paleontologist Jacob Jett said they picked a great time to come visit. The attraction boasts one of the largest fossil collections in the state.

"We've got this new Tyrannosaur called Daspletosaurus," Jett said. "It's really similar to a T-Rex. It lived in the same area, but about 10 million years before T-Rex did."

Tourism plays a big role in the local economy. While some visitors like the Brundrett family chose to spend time indoors, others kept stuck with plans to stay outdoors.

Owners of the Peak Fly Shop say their guides continued on with planned fly fishing tours near Deckers despite the snow. The Spring runoff has already begun and fishermen know this is the best time of year to get out in the streams. Besides, the water temperatures stays the same whether its sunny or snowing.

Intermountain Rural Electric Association encourages customers to consider signing up for text message alerts when the power goes out. Those customers can also report outages through the same function. Visit http://www.irea.coop to learn more.

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