Storm brings headaches

Power outage occurs; several flights delayed

A Chevy pickup with New Mexico plates traveling north on U.S. Highway 550 near mile marker 10 lost control and struck a utility pole Friday afternoon, dragging it about 18 to 20 feet, said Trooper Chris Balenti of the Colorado State Patrol. Balenti said the driver and passenger were not injured in the incident. Enlarge photo

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

A Chevy pickup with New Mexico plates traveling north on U.S. Highway 550 near mile marker 10 lost control and struck a utility pole Friday afternoon, dragging it about 18 to 20 feet, said Trooper Chris Balenti of the Colorado State Patrol. Balenti said the driver and passenger were not injured in the incident.

Friday’s snowstorm caused several canceled and delayed flights at Durango-La Plata County Airport and a power outage after a vehicle slid off the road and collided with a utility pole.

The vehicle slid off U.S. Highway 550 about 10 miles north of the Colorado-New Mexico state line and hit a utility pole at about 3:30 p.m. The incident left 244 La Plata Electric Association customers in southern La Plata County without power for about an hour, according to a news release.

LPEA crews were able to erect a temporary utility pole so power could be restored. Permanent repairs to the damaged pole are expected to be made next week, the release said.

United Airlines and American Eagle Airlines each canceled a flight Friday morning because of low visibility at the airport.

Several flights were delayed throughout the day because of the cancellations, said Don Brockus, spokesman for the airport.

A 1:35 p.m. Frontier Airlines flight en route from Denver arrived at the airport, circled and flew back to Denver, citing “unfavorable runway conditions,” said Jack Llewellyn, executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce, who was scheduled to take the plane from Durango to Denver at 3 p.m.

The flight arrived back in Denver at 3:46 p.m., according to Flight Aware, a flight-tracking website.

Frontier could not be reached for comment.

Llewellyn was on his way to Denver for today’s Broncos-Ravens playoff game. He drove to Denver on Friday evening so he wouldn’t miss the game.

“There are a lot of Broncos fans not happy that the flight got canceled,” he said.

Durango could see an inch or two of snow through today, but most of the storm has moved out of the area, said Tom Renwick, a forecaster for the National Weather Service.

No winter storms are expected in the next week.

“There’s not much on the horizon, unfortunately,” Renwick said.

jdahl@durangoherald.com

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