Steamboat Springs cleans up after wind storm
Damage to Springs Meadows estimated at $40,000
December 2, 2011
Steamboat Springs — On their 20th wedding anniversary Thursday, Ann and John McArthur woke up at about 2 a.m. to what sounded like a train bearing down on their condo.
By about 7 a.m., the strong winds were peeling off the roof of her Spring Meadows building at the corner of Walton Creek Road and Columbine Drive.
"What does it feel like to be in a hurricane?" Ann McArthur asked. "That's what it feels like."
Steamboat continued cleaning up Friday, a day after a 123 mph wind gust was measured at Steamboat Ski Area. Gusts of 60 mph were measured at Steamboat Springs Airport on the west side of the city.
The wind storm closed the ski area for the day, damaged numerous roofs, street signs and cars and uprooted dozens of trees.
At Spring Meadows, large pieces of the roof were crashing into the parking lot at 9 a.m. Thursday and breaking windows on neighboring buildings.
McArthur notified her neighbors about the damage.
"I said, 'Please do not light your fireplace because the fire stacks are sitting in the yard,'" she said.
Part of the metal roofing landed next to Anthony Mendolia's pickup and banged against it for several hours. Mendolia is a pressman who works nights at the Steamboat Pilot & Today and said Friday that he slept through the ordeal.
"It looks like someone took a flat-head screwdriver and just went to town on my car for half an hour," said Mendolia, who does not have comprehensive auto insurance but is hoping to get compensated for the $3,700 in damage to his truck.
Insurance is expected to pay for the damage to the Spring Meadows roof, which is estimated at about $40,000, said Jim Landers, vice president of operations for Steamboat Association Management. His company manages 40 homeowners associations. Landers said the management company's other properties fared well, considering the extreme conditions.
High Point Roofing owner Jeremiah McGuire was working on the Spring Meadows roof Friday. He said he received 40 calls Thursday from people wanting him to fix their roofs. He said he was able to take only four of the jobs.
Custom Color auto body shop owner Dave Mihaich said he did estimates on three cars that had trees fall on them Thursday. All three were totaled with about $5,000 worth of damage each.
Steamboat Springs Public Works Director Philo Shelton said no city buildings were damaged by the wind but about 70 street signs were blown down. City crews helped clear about five fallen trees and have fixed most of the street signs.
Steamboat State Farm Insurance agent Debbie Aragon said the damage was not as bad as she thought it would be after hearing the report of the 123 mph gust at the ski area. Her office handled several claims relating to roof damage and answered some questions from people about deductibles.
"I really expected to come in this morning and have a lot of claims," Aragon said.
McArthur, who sits on the board of the Spring Meadows homeowners association, said no residents were displaced by the roof being blown off.
"It's a minor inconvenience," she said.
At the ski area, crews had removed about 20 trees that came down on open terrain, spokesman Mike Lane wrote in an email. Read about additional terrain being opened today on page 5.
"Things are in good shape, and what a difference a day makes," Lane wrote.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com