Photo by John F. Russell
Steamboat Springs Police Officer Evan Driscoll talks with a neighbor, not pictured, while cleaning up a tree that fell into the intersection of Seventh and Laurel streets on Thursday afternoon. The tree was knocked down by high winds.
Steamboat Springs A powerful storm that blew through Routt County on Wednesday night left Yampa Valley Electric Association crews busy Thursday morning. Similar storms could blow through Steamboat Springs over the next couple of days.
Downed trees and toppled power line poles knocked out power to about 525 customers in isolated pockets across the county beginning at 9:10 p.m. Wednesday. Three dozen or so residents who live along Routt County Road 14 near Sidney Peak Ranch didn’t get power back until 9:30 a.m. Thursday, when YVEA crews replaced four downed power poles in the area.
YVEA spokesman Jim Chappell said the outages began after a weather front accompanied by strong winds moved through the area. Affected customers included those along C.R.s 14 and 14B, Colorado Highway 131, and in the Henderson Park and Blacktail areas. Chappell said most of those residents — about 524 customers — were without power for about an hour and a half.
Other areas that experienced power outages Wednesday night included Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club, Catamount Ranch & Club and residences up Rabbit Ears Pass and along C.R. 20.
In downtown Steamboat the storm knocked down a large tree, which fell across East Logan Street and blocked vehicle access. Steamboat Springs Police Department Capt. Joel Rae said city Public Works crews removed the tree.
A chance of thunderstorms remains in the forecast for Steamboat Springs into early next week. The National Weather Service’s Grand Junction forecast office predicts a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms today and tonight, and a 20 percent chance Saturday and Saturday night. Winds from the south between 5 and 15 mph should blow through the weekend. Daytime highs are expected to reach the upper 60s, with overnight lows in the mid- to upper 30s.
The higher overnight temperatures will continue to feed the region’s swollen creeks and rivers. A flood warning remains in effect for the Elk River near C.R. 42 west of Steamboat. The river was at flood stage Thursday afternoon and is expected to remain at or near flood stage into the weekend.
A flood advisory is in effect elsewhere in Routt County. The Yampa River where it passes under the Fifth Street Bridge in downtown Steamboat is expected to remain below flood stage into early next week.