PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. — Pueblo County and the Eastern plains were one of the very first areas struck by extreme winds on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
Gusts up to 80 and 100 miles per hour were recorded, and damage was widespread across the region.
“This is pretty bad, I don’t know if I have seen it this bad, but I have seen some pretty bad wind storms,” Dwayne Rincon, truck driver of 25 years, said. “Just a whole lot of tumbleweeds and dark skies. People pulled over for safety.”
Many drivers along Interstate 25 chose the safer route, electing to pull over during the storm but ended up getting trapped in a sea of tumbleweeds.
“I’m not very heavily loaded and the type of truck I have is curtain-side, and it’s like catching a big sail. It catches the wind. I’d rather be safe than sorry,” Rincon said.
Pueblo Airport reported wind gusts up to 89 miles per hour, bringing down power lines across the county.
In the plains area, Lamar clocked a wind speed of 107 miles per hour, breaking the record for the area and causing a massive dust storm which brought low visibility in the region.
Into Pueblo, damage along the Interstate as well as signage were torn apart. Winds peeled off the roofing of the historic steel hill as well as caused neighborhood messes throughout town such as lost Christmas decorations and scattered items–many of which will have to be tracked down by their owners.