Blizzard Recovery


Downtown Lamar at approximately 3pm, Monday

It didn’t take very long for blizzard-like conditions to affect highway travel in southeast Colorado and Lamar.  The weather service made the call late Saturday, early enough to give some folk time to make preparations. 

Springfield, Colorado reported that by 9:30am Monday, they had a half hour’s head start on the snowfall on Lamar, but a few minutes afterwards, the white flakes were noticeable and after a couple of hours, driving became a full-time chore.  Visibility was reduced and snow started to pile up on the side streets.  Lamar officials mobilized early, establishing an Emergency Operations Center around 1pm Monday in the multi-purpose room at the Lamar Community Building.  Local media began dealing with closing and cancellation announcements, and CDOT closed U.S. 287 north and southbound from Lamar to the Oklahoma state line.  Once travelers got turned around from heading south out of town, they either looked for an alternate route to their destination, or for a place to ride out the storm.

The View South from Main Street, Lamar

The weather this week may give us a white Christmas, but as far as retailers were concerned, all the precipitation curtailed the final push for holiday shopping.  Just a few lonely travelers were apparent on Main Street by 3pm Monday, and only a few stores remained open with one or two employees braving the elements to clear their sidewalks for shoppers.

As of 2pm Tuesday, some highways remained closed to traffic including US 160 east and westbound from Trinidad to the Kansas border, US 287 south and northbound from Lamar to the Oklahoma border, CO 109 north and southbound from La Junta to US 160.  I-25 southbound to New Mexico from Pueblo was opened earlier today.

One Business Owner Keeping their Sidewalks Clear on Monday

The Emergency Operations Center in the Lamar Community Building was staffed overnight, dealing with various weather related emergencies.  Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook said there were relatively few calls following the brunt of the storm and by 9am, operations at the center were discontinued.  Area residents could call 911 for emergencies or 511 for updated road reports.  The Prowers County Sheriff’s report for the day yesterday, dealt almost exclusively with weather and traffic related problems as numerous residents were having trouble with icy roads and limited visibility.

The PMG Convenient Care Clinic will remain open for walk-ins until 8pm this Tuesday evening, however most city and county operations were closed for the day including PATS, the SOS Center, the Lamar VA Clinic, Family Practice in Las Animas and the PMG Holly Medical Clinic.

Eleven deaths nationwide have been attributed to the winter storm that spread through the southwest.

by Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: BusinessCityCollegecommunityCountyEconomyEducationFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarLaw EnforcementPolice ReportsPublic SafetyTransportationWeatherWiley


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