First Glenwood Springs snowfall brings down more than flakes | PostIndependent.com

First Glenwood Springs snowfall brings down more than flakes

Glenwood Springs Fire Department officials were busy dealing with several downed limbs around town Thursday, due to the heavy, wet snow that fell on still fully-leaved tree branches.

As the Roaring Fork Valley watched the first snow fall on northwest Colorado's autumn, drivers, commuters and anybody walking around Glenwood Springs on Thursday might have noticed a tree limb or two on the ground.

Jared Sparks with the Glenwood Springs Fire Department said all of the precipitation the area has received over the past few weeks has left vegetation and trees waterlogged, and Thursday's snowstorm finally tipped the scales.

He said the fire department received reports of broken trees and branches throughout Glenwood Springs, including incidents of tree limbs falling on power lines and knocking out power in some areas for short periods. He recommended residents be cognizant of where they are walking and what they are walking under.

"Don't stand under trees," he recommended. "Some are not used to having this weight on them."

Glenwood Springs received a flurry of snow on Wednesday and continuing into the morning on Thursday. The snow turned into rain by midday.

Farther upvalley, wet, heavy snow caused issues Thursday morning with power lines in the Roaring Fork Valley, with roads closed and reports of a power pole on fire.

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Holy Cross Energy has crews on standby this time of year for "snow events" and is pulling crews from other jobs to help with outage issues, HCE spokesperson Jenna Weatherred said Thursday.

"When the snow is this heavy and wet and hits branches with the leaves still on them, it just compounds the problem," she said. "We have crews out addressing everything as it comes. We just ask folks to be patient and know we're working on it."

Pitkin County sent an alert that Capitol Creek Road and Monastery Road were closed at about 8:50 p.m. because of a power line being down. The roads in Old Snowmass were reopened by 9:30 a.m.

Fire crews also were responding just before 9 a.m. to reports of a power pole showing flames near mile marker 24 on Highway 82.

A number of outages were reported by Holy Cross Energy, including one in western Pitkin County that affected more than 300 homes in the Crystal River Valley.

The Friday forecast called for a much lower chance of precipitation, less than 5 percent, in the Glenwood Springs and Rifle areas. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to upper 50s during the day, and dropping to around freezing at night, with a low in the low 20s Sunday.

The Aspen Times contributed to this report.