Slippery roads cause accidents

More than 20 incidents reported Friday morning, no major injuries


More than 20 accidents were reported throughout Routt County on Friday morning as a spring storm made for slippery road conditions.

No one suffered major injuries from the accidents, and most were vehicles that had slid off the roads.

Between 6 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., 13 accidents occurred within the city limits, Steamboat Springs Police Capt. Joel Rae said. In the county, the Routt County Sheriff's Office responded to between six and eight accidents on county roads, Undersheriff Dan Taylor said.

"We had them all over," he said.

The Colorado State Patrol responded to four accidents, none with injuries.

During morning rush hour traffic, it took some drivers more than a half-hour to travel on U.S. Highway 40 from Steamboat II to 13th Street.

Rae said some of the delay could have been caused by an accident on Routt County Road 129 near U.S. 40, which caused traffic to be rerouted through Downhill Drive. Also a number of accidents occurred on Indian Trails, which leads to the Copper Ridge subdivision and intersects with U.S. 40.

"I think we are all becoming complacent with the good weather. When it starts snowing, we don't take into consideration that little bit more time to drive safely," Taylor said.

City Public Works Director Jim Weber said the wet spring snowstorm caused slippery conditions on the roads, and people were surprised by the storm.

Wet snow hitting warm pavement creates a greasy condition on the bottom layer, he said. He estimated that the storm started at about 5:30 a.m. and said crews were out and working when he arrived to work at 7 a.m.

National Weather Service forecaster Paul Frisbie said the winter weather advisory for the storm came across Thursday afternoon with a forecast of three to five inches for the region and five to 10 inches in the mountains.

At 2 p.m. Friday, the Steam--boat Ski Area reported 10 inches in the past 24 hours.

The National Weather Service is forecasting rain turning to snow on Sunday, Frisbie said. There is a chance of snow for the rest of the week. That system will come in from California.

Although Steamboat residents might be griping about the town's lack of snow this winter, Frisbie said it is better off than other more northern ski resorts.

A blocking ridge of high pressure over the Pacific Northwest has resulted in the lack of moisture. Steamboat has been more fortunate than those farther north.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail


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