EL PASO COUNTY — Wind is one of the likely factors with the snowstorm heading toward southern Colorado. "That change can be very dangerous," said Pikes Peak Region Office of Emergency Management, Director, Jim Reid. In recent years wind has turned small snow totals into big problems.
Wind adds issues beyond slick roads for drivers. "You can have less than two inches on the ground, but that snow itself because of the wind can be so bad that you lose your visibility--a whiteout and then you have issues," said Reid. Getting around turns dangerous if you lose your sense of direction.Drivers are unable to see lanes, they even lose track of cars in front of them.
Two storms in just the past two years show what happens. Hundreds of cars off roads with drivers stranded for hours because of blowing snow.
It is a life safety issue for all the people stuck. It also closes roads for extended time. “If you're stranded on that road, you're just something in the way. We can't get through,” said Reid. Plow drivers are unable clear roads littered with abandoned cars.
Drivers are cautioned to factor in wind when storms are approaching.