Fierce Winds Rip Southeast Colorado


Shortly before 9am, on December 15th, what had been a generally quiet morning abruptly changed when hurricane force winds tore across the high plains with a registered gust of 107mph in Lamar according to the Pueblo National Weather Service.  The storm system had been forecast by as much as a day beforehand, but response crews as well as the general public could only prepare up to a certain point.  Asked about the approaching storm on Tuesday, Lamar Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, explained that all the service trucks would be fully stocked and all the response crews were prepared to repair any damage.

December Storm, Oak and 14th


Dirt, debris, grit, gravel, tree limb, branches, and unfortunately in some cases, entire trees were uprooted by the winds with many hitting fences, cars and often times blocking roads.  Power was out from shortly after the winds struck to 5:30pm through multiple areas of service from Lamar Light and Power and SECPA.  CDOT reported that statewide, 24 semi-trucks were overturned by the winds and of those six were in the Lamar area.

The City of Lamar issued a statement to local residents, stating, “As the cleanup of debris continue to clean up debris from Wednesday’s weather, the City of Lamar would like to extend a helping hand to our local business owners and city residents.  For the next two weeks, city crews will pick up extra bagged refuse material caused by yesterday’s wind storm.

Please do not include debris that was not storm related. Bagged material must be brought to the street side or else it will not be picked up. Hazardous materials will not be accepted.

City residents are welcome to bring trees and limbs to the landfill free of charge. Local businesses that want to bring wind related trees and limbs to the landfill, during the following two weeks, will not be charged. The City Landfill is located on County Road 14 and Highway 50.

Any bagged material or debris will not be picked up after December 31st and will be subject to code enforcement.

For any questions regarding this project or lost trash cans please contact the Public Works office at 719-336-2002.”

Hourieh noted there were approximately 30 power outages scattered through the Light Plant’s service area with some occurring along Highway 196, Memorial Drive in Lamar, to the rear of Lamar Community College, some southern sections of Wiley and along County Road CC.  A downed transformer kept power off behind Stagner’s on South Main Street while repairs were underway.  Hourieh also noted that some power would be cut off while repairs were in progress, “We don’t want any of the line crews to come into contact with a hot wire,” he explained.

Almost anywhere you traveled in the city limits, signs of damage from the winds were readily noticeable including from six to seven downed trees and large limbs on the western side of Willow Creek Park, which had been closed to the public during the height of the storm.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyCollegeCountyEnvironmentEventsFeaturedLaw EnforcementPolice ReportPublic SafetyTransportationUtilitiesWeather


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