Schools open, but Colorado bases closed because of weather? Here's why
The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Wednesday’s storm put Pikes Peak region military bases on delayed reporting and drove Fort Carson to give non-essential workers a day off.
But thousands of area students, from kindergartners up, had to trudge to class on time as troops got a break.
We asked Schriever Air Force Base, which had delayed reporting Wednesday, how they make their call. Here’s their answer:
- The intent of our snow call is to get our people safely to and from their home and duty location during inclement weather conditions. When road conditions are hazardous or impassable, delayed reporting, base closure, or early release of personnel may be necessary. In order to make this decision, base leadership takes input from multiple sources. First our civil engineers provide the status/requirement for on-base snow removal based on current conditions. Our Security Forces will then confirm on and off base road conditions. Then local and national weather information is analyzed. All of this is fed to senior leadership who will then compare notes with the other local installations on their conditions, status and intended posture. Ultimately, leadership makes a decision based on all available data and relays that information to our Command Post and Public Affairs teams. The Command Post announces phased early release, base closure, delayed reporting and road condition changes through its emergency notification system and base public address system. The message is also recorded on the Schriever Snow Call Line. If required, the wing conducts a unit recall notification. The 50th Space Wing Public Affairs office also notifies local media outlets of the base conditions and reporting procedures as well as updates the Schriever Facebook message. During inclement weather, the safety of our people is our utmost concern.”
Meanwhile, snow and freezing temperatures in the Pikes Peak region Wednesday had forecasters warning that weather was cold enough to kill car batteries. They warned people to stay indoors and keep pets inside with them.
Downtown Colorado Springs received about 3 inches of snow as of 6 p.m. and the airport reported a little more than an inch around the same time, National Weather Service Meteorologist Randy Gray said.
Monument and Woodland Park reported about 3 inches of snow, and Cascade reported about 5 inches.
Temperatures were hanging in the single digits for much of the region before sunrise Wednesday. At 6 a.m. temperatures were hovering around 6 degrees.
A shot of light snow coated roads, putting police on accident alert and prompting delays and closures. The Air Force Academy sent non-essential workers home at 1:30 p.m. today.
Wind chill temperatures were running 10 degrees below zero in Colorado Springs Wednesday.
The Pikes Peak region is expected to stay in the deep freeze through the weekend.
The cold prompted the Red Cross to open a warming shelter for the second night in a row in Black Forest at First Baptist Church, 10915 Black Forest Road.