Expect more snow in Glenwood Springs | PostIndependent.com

Expect more snow in Glenwood Springs

Pete FowlerPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kara K. Pearson Post Independent
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS Continued above-average winter snowfall is surprising meteorologists at the National Weather Service. The NWS predicted that heavier snowfall would taper off in late January for northern Colorado due to a period of moderate La Nia. Southern Colorado was expected to receive below-normal amounts of precipitation by now, which hasnt been the case. Those expectations were based on typical La Nia patterns.This particular year it really hasnt worked out that way, NWS meteorologist Jim Pringle said. After whats supposed to be a mostly sunny day today, theres a decent chance snowfall will continue into next week.It looks like were going to have periods of snowfall well into the middle of next week, Pringle said.He said another storm system should be arriving tonight, and it could snow up to around three inches in Glenwood Springs by Monday. Anywhere from 5 to 12 inches of snow could fall in the mountains surrounding Glenwood Springs. The high temperatures forecast for Glenwood Springs are 26 degrees today, 30 on Friday, 31 on Saturday and 29 on Sunday.Water content in the snowpack is at 107 percent of the average for the upper Colorado River basin and 143 percent on Independence Pass. Sunlight Mountain Resort reported Wednesday morning about eight inches of new snow received Monday and Tuesday.Employees of the city, Garfield County and the Colorado Department of Transportation have worked overtime to remove above-average amounts of snow this winter.Weve had snow on the ground here since the first of December and it hasnt gone away, said DWayne Gaymon, a CDOT senior foreman. Thats not very normal.CDOTs maintenance office in Glenwood Springs has about 30 people who plow Interstate 70 from Rifle to Dotsero, Highway 82 to the closure on Independence Pass, and Highway 133 from Carbondale to the Collbran exit on the other side of McClure Pass.Snowpack on McClure Pass is at 130 or 140 percent of average, Gaymon said.He said detailed figures arent available yet, but CDOT has spent more than usual on snow removal this winter.Theres been a lot of overtime, he said.Glenwood Springs hired contract crews to remove snow that was plowed into large piles in the middle or on the sides of roads. The crews helped for five days starting Jan. 15 and the bill is expected to cost more than $20,000, said Robin Millyard, Glenwoods public works director.We have a $30,000 line for outside assistance like that in the budget and this is going to tear up a pretty big hole in that number, he said.Glenwood has about four plows and eight employees for snow removal. School, emergency and business routes are plowed before residential areas.Im sure there are a few complaints out there, Millyard said. Certainly just the amount of snow and the cold temperatures have created a lot of ice bonding to the pavement that is a challenge to remove. Were stretched pretty thin with resources and equipment and were doing everything we can reasonably do.Garfield County recently bought a snowblower for about $66,000 in part to combat increased snowfall this winter. More people are also moving farther out on county roads, which also led to the decision to make the purchase.Marvin Stephens, the countys road and bridge director, said the snowblower can be attached to a front-end loader. It removes snow plowed to the center or sides of roads. Thats been a problem this winter in some areas because of increased snowfall, he said.The guys are putting in lots of overtime, he said. Theyre about to get tired of snow, I think.Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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