COLORADO SPRINGS — The forecast of potentially damaging wind moving in on Southern Colorado has the attention of emergency managers, utility company crews, and foresters who are prepping in advance.
"We're getting concerned,” said Dennis Will, City Forester for the City of Colorado Springs, “Our crews are getting ready, getting their saws sharpened up, getting fuel out and gas ready to go. Make sure PPE is ready, so we're ready to respond."
Trees and power lines are typically impacted most by high winds. If a tree is in a power line, or a line is down, call your utility company. If a downed or damaged tree is on a public right of way, let the city know.
“If it's a tree between the sidewalk and the curb and gutter that's a public tree," said Will.
Anything on private property is the landowner’s responsibility. Within the City of Colorado Springs residents are encouraged to report any issues they spot through the GoCos app.
"This app feeds into our emergency management system so that they can be aware of where we have dangerous conditions," said Colorado Springs Community Engagement Specialist, Jason Anderson. You still call 911 if it is an urgent situation threatening lives.
Reporting with the GoCos app has proven a more efficient way to prioritize issues caused by large-scale events.
"We have had experience in the past where we've literally had thousands of people call and leave a voicemail,” said Will, “Once that happens it overloads the system." When that happened, some people could not get through on phone lines and some messages were lost.
The wind’s force is based on several variables as it moves into the area. A day in advance, forecasters warn there is potential for damage. If that happens, crews ask for patience. There are past wind events where it took weeks to address issues.