(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management (PPROEM) is closely monitoring the potential for damaging winds in the Pikes Peak region Thursday evening, Dec. 1 through Friday morning, Dec. 2.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued:
- High Wind Warning in effect from Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. until Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. – The High Wind Warning includes persistent wind gusts over 70 mph with localized gusts up to 100 mph possible. Damaging winds can blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages may occur. Travel will likely be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.
- Red Flag Warning in effect for Friday, Dec. 2, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. – The Fire Warning includes critical fire weather conditions that are likely for Friday morning and afternoon. Strong gusty winds in excess of 70 mph are possible. Strong winds and low relative humidity make conditions very favorable for the rapid spread and intensification of any fires.
Residents should take the following precautions before and during high winds:
- Avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches.
- Secure outdoor furniture and outdoor holiday decorations such as Christmas lights.
- Seek shelter indoors during the high wind event and avoid travel if possible.
- Be on the lookout for downed trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible.
- Fire will spread very quickly during this event, avoid any activities that could cause a fire.
- Road closures are possible throughout the state, if you must travel, check COTrip.org for up-to-date road closures from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
- Make sure you are prepared for the possibility of a power outage.
Avoid travel if possible
The National Weather Service says high winds make travel hazardous due to high wind gusts and flying debris. If possible, stay indoors and avoid travel. If you must travel, always maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel and be prepared for sudden shifts in wind speed or direction, says NWS.
Be vigilant of flying debris. Traffic intersections may be without power. Motorists should treat all darkened intersections as a four-way stop. Watch for and obey any travel restrictions and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio for updates. Residents should only call 911 for life-threatening emergencies.
Damaging winds can blow down trees. For NON-emergency assistance with downed trees, Colorado Springs residents should use the GoCOS! web page (coloradosprings.gov/gocos) or mobile app (App Store link) (Play Store link).
To report a downed street tree in the public right of way in El Paso County, visit Citizen Connect or call (719) 520-6460.
Removal of debris and downed trees on private property that are not touching power lines are the responsibility of the property owner. For more information, visit the Windstorm Recovery Resources webpage.