Santa, Reindeer Snowbound in Leadville Until July 4th
Emergency Services Council Gives Snow Report
While forecasters are indicating a reprieve from the snow this weekend with the promise of sunny skies for Leadville and Lake County residents, one more day – of snow, one more inch – of snow, one more flake – of snow could put into motion words and actions among neighbors and friends whose results could be long-lasting, but in a good way!
So take a breather, put down that shovel for a few minutes and continue reading, then you’ll realize exactly why you’re exhausted. Even the old timers are starting to talk about the snow, and it’s only the 26th of January.
Snow, snow, snow and the American Red Cross were the primary topics of conversation at yesterday’s Lake County Emergency Services Council meeting in Leadville. The entire intention behind this group’s gathering is to exchange information and coordinate emergency services for the “citizens and visitors of Lake County and the City of Leadville.” Here are some of the meeting’s highlights.
Leadville Chief of Police Robert Glenny reported that ever narrowing city roadways and cars abandoned under feet of snow were his primary concern. While his officers are doing their best to mitigate disputes between neighbors on snow removal, he also stated that city residents can expect a more enthusiastic enforcement of the 48 parking restriction on city streets during the fairer weather months. Hopefully this new enforcement approach will not result in the same mess there is now, as people will have to get used to moving their vehicles in a more timely fashion. Lessons learned for the new Chief’s first Leadville winter.
Lake County Sheriff Rod Fenske reported on calls related to back country enthusiasts and the current snow conditions. “While I can’t tell people NOT to go, we are encouraging them to check in with dispatch and give us an idea of how many are in their group and where they’re going, that way when we get that phone call, we’ll know how many bodies to carry out,” stated Lake County’s top law enforcement officer. The number to Lake County Emergency Dispatch Center is 719-486-1249.
“The backcountry is no place to be right now, if you don’t know what you’re doing, stay out of there,” added Sheriff Fenske.
Emergency Manager Mike McHargue echoed those sentiments, reporting that Lake County Search and Rescue has had a few call-outs, including the fatality on January 5, near Uncle Bud’s Tenth Mountain Division Ski Hut above Turquoise Lake. Communication is key, as some calls for assistance have been called in and then not followed-up with an “all-clear” when lost adventurer’s find their way home themselves.
Mike Ferguson with The Climax Mine reported that the mine will be conducting some avalanche exercises and mitigation on the Summit County side today (Jan. 26) so if motorists notice an increase in activity along Highway 91 between Leadville and Copper Mountain be advised.
Brad Palmer with Lake County Public Works gave a presentation on the snow plowing and removal plan, as well as the department’s equipment and personnel status.
Our priorities are to get Lake County residents around and out of town to work. Second priority is the school bus routes, explained Palmer. “Everyone has been pretty patient, some more than others, but we are behind a bit on the secondary county roads.”
In other Emergency Service Council news, Jody Acres with the American Red Cross gave an informative presentation regarding the disaster-relief agency’s status in Lake County.
Residents should be assured that the Red Cross has seen an increase in participation in recent years, but more volunteers are always needed. Emergency Manager Mike McHargue commended the local Red Cross volunteers on their recent assistance during the skier search and rescue mission in Lake County. If you are interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer right here in Leadville, please CONNECT.
As one of the most informative meetings in town, the Emergency Service Council under the direction of Emergency Manager Mike McHargue does a great job in keeping Leadville and Lake County residents and visitors, safe and supported. It’s been a tough month and signs of fatigue are starting to settle in, so next time you see one of these folks, give them a friendly wave, buy them a hot cup of coffee or dinner!