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El Paso County prepares for "unique" snowstorm

More snow expected in Southern El Paso County
El Paso County prepares for "unique" storm
Posted at 11:23 PM, Dec 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-16 01:23:14-05

EL PASO COUNTY — The snowstorm that started on Sunday is expected to carry over into Monday morning, which could make the morning commute particularly slick. News 5 spoke with those from the El Paso County Department of Public Works to learn more about how they have prepared for the storm.

The Executive Director of the Department of Public Works, Scot Cuthbertson, said all storms are different, but his team of snow plow drivers have been preparing. "This is a unique storm. We've kind of gotten in the habit of expecting the heaviest snows up on the north end of the county, and all the forecasters are saying it's going to go south this time," said Cuthbertson.

The storm is expected to bring the most snow to areas like Fort Carson and the Broadmoor. Storms that do have a larger scope, present more problems for snow plows. "For us, our largest challenge is a county wide storm. We have limited resources, and if I have to put resources everywhere in the county, then it takes longer for us to do our job," said Cuthbertson.

However, even though the department has already taken measures to try and mitigate the effect on the roads, the cold temperatures have not helped. "Because it's so cold right now, although we have anti-icing on the road, it's not as effective when it's cold. And the way this storm came in earlier today, you've got light snow on cold road temperatures which creates instant slick conditions, instant roadway challenges for us," said Cuthbertson.

Cuthbertson recommended all drivers ensure they have the correct tires for the snow, an emergency kit in the car, and if possible, to offset the time they may normally leave for school or work on Monday morning to avoid the rush. Of course, he also said the safest option is to stay home during the storm. "We want folks to be prepared, be aware and don't take for granted that this weather's out there and it can hurt you," said Cuthbertson.

News 5 also spoke with Erin Vera, who has been driving snow plows for around six years. She said it's very important to give the plows their space, and trying to pass one is dangerous. "My family's out there on the road. You know, all these guys that I work with, all these women that I work with, their families are out there. They all need to go home to their families, the public, the workers, we all need to get home safe," said Vera.

News 5 will also keep you updated online about any delays or closures that may impact you.