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Blast of Cold, Wet Weather Has Longmont, Boulder Crews Casting Eye Toward Winter Prep

October 9, 2018

Al Ovcina, and his wife, Amra, push their son Adam, 1, in a stroller in the cold, rainy weather Monday on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder.

Public works crews and drivers in Boulder County have begun preparing for winter road conditions as forecasts through Thursday show rain with chances of snow along with near-freezing nighttime temperatures.

“This early in the season, there is really little to no chance of the streets getting iced up. In the unlikely chance it would happen we do have trucks available,” Longmont Utility and Streets Operations and Maintenance Manager Jeff TerAvest said.

But nonetheless, city officials in Longmont and Boulder have readied public works fleet vehicles for snow removal just in case it is required, inspecting the trucks and making seasonal installations of plow blades and sanders.

“We’ve been fine-tuning our routes, making sure we have enough deicing material and preparing the trucks for snow removal,” Callie Hayden, Boulder transportation maintenance supervisor, stated in a press release. “We’re not expecting a lot of snow this week, but whatever happens, we’re ready.”

Longmont Public Works and Natural Resources drivers met last week to review their routes and go through annual training to practice maneuvering with a snow plow, TerAvest said.

Local vehicle owners have taken notice of the seasonal weather change and are starting to make their own preparations.

“We’ve been getting a few customers here and there starting to swap out their summer tires for snow tires,” Alex Borquez, a technician with Gallito Tires in Longmont.

Although he noted most drivers wait until snow is already on the ground to put on snow tires, others, including some coming to Gallito for appointments this week, have scheduled checkups on their vehicles’ thermostats to ensure they are in working condition for the winter.

The National Weather Service in a hazardous weather outlook and freeze watch stated snow accumulation on roadways is unlikely up and down the Front Range urban corridor below 6,000 feet, but Eldora Mountain Resort in Nederland was dusted with its first layer of snow Monday morning.

Even at lower elevations, near-freezing temperatures were expected Monday evening through Thursday, as is precipitation that could fall as a rain-snow mix, especially overnight.

Monday morning measurements on the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network showed about a quarter-inch of rain in Longmont, and up to a half-inch in areas of Boulder.

The National Weather Service urged residents to cover crops and sensitive vegetation or move them indoors, and to drain outdoor water irrigation systems.

Drier and warmer conditions are expected to return to Boulder County by late Friday or Saturday, according to the National Weather Service, with mostly sunny skies and a high of 56 predicted for Friday.

Boulder residents can visit bouldercolorado.gov/public-works/snow for details about snow and ice removal in the city, while Longmont residents can visit l ongmontcolorado.gov/snow for winter weather road reports and other information on snow and ice removal.

Sam Lounsberry: 303-473-1322, slounsberry@prairiemountainmedia.com and twitter.com/samlounz .

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