COLORADO SPRINGS – The snowstorm Monday morning blew in right at the wrong moment, during the morning rush hour. City plows, who’d been out on the roads since 3:00 a.m., stepped up their effort by 7:00 with a full city-wide call out.
“Filmore Hill was a problem area,” said Jack Ladley, the Operations Manager for City of Colorado Springs Public Works and Operations and Maintenance Division. “We had to put some resources over there, get that hill opened up, get it back down to pavement because traffic was having issues on it.”
They weren’t the only ones driving around in the pre-dawn hours. Nick Soto, the Transportation Director for Colorado Springs School District 11 said all of the local districts had weather spotters checking the driving conditions ahead of the storm.
“We’re out there driving between 1:00 and 3:30 in the morning.”
Soto typically holds a conference call with his peers at other districts the night before a storm in order to make a game plan.
“I look at the accumulation, I look at the wind gusts, I look at the windchill factor,” he explained.
If any of the three pose a safety risk to kids, he’ll request a delayed start or cancelation.
However, Monday’s snow began falling while the buses were already on their routes. Many schools had already opened their doors.
“We do everything that we can to stay open but we watch for safety first,” Soto said.
The storm had moved on by lunchtime leaving clear skies and sunshine to help melt away the mess on the roads.
Ladley said a night crew relieved the plow drivers working the morning shift between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.
“Our emphasis and focus for this afternoon and for the evening is going to be on primaries and secondaries, getting ready for the evening commute,” Ladley said.
The big weather worry overnight will be the cold. Temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits overnight and into early Tuesday morning.