photo by Lori Nagel

Jim Hollmer, clearing 2 feet of snow in Crestone on Nov 26. photo by Lori Nagel

by Kizzen Laki

A record snowfall hit the Crestone/Baca and Moffat areas on Monday, November 25.

A series of storms pushing into the San Luis Valley over several days ended by bringing in a major snowfall—measured in feet by the time it was done.  Wednesday night, November 20 brought Crestone around 4-5” of snow from a system mostly pushing up from the south west.  Over the next couple of days heavy cloud cover lay over the valley bringing smaller amounts of additional snow.  Sunday, November 23,  saw  a light amout of snow during the day, but then after the system had moved east, saw the front come back over the Sangre de Cristos from the northeast, bringing heavy snow. On Sunday night, 10” of snow was very quickly deposited in just a few hours.  By the morning of the 24th there was nearly 2 feet of accumulated snow in the Town of Crestone, reports of 33” in the higher elevations of the Baca,  18-20” out in the Grants and Casita Park, a foot of snow in the Moffat region with a report of 15-20” in the Joyful Journey/Villa Grove area.

Saguache County, Baca Grande and Town of Crestone snow plows quickly responded to clear the roads.  There were reports of vehicles that had slid off snowpacked and slippery area roads or were stuck in driveways. AAA  tow trucks and helpful neighbors were seen rescuing those that were stuck.  Since people had to expend quite a bit of effort to un-bury their autos and clear driveways, the main roads were cleared before many people were able to dig out, while side roads were plowed later in the day.

Local facebook pages lit up with photos and requests for snow removal assistance or comments of “just staying home by the wood stove”.   Electric power, phone and internet did not go out.

Keno’s weather station in the Baca recorded the total snowfall for the day of Nov. 25 at 20.4 inches, which broke the old record for the date of 4.0 inches, set in 1991. (This snowfall figure did not factor in snow that was already on the ground). He reports: “this total is the second highest one day snowfall total for any day in November, the record is 28.5 inches, set on Nov 28, 1997. We also set a record for the day for precipitation, of 1.92 inches, shattering the old mark of 0.12 inches, set in 1992. That also is the most ever precip in one day for the month, the old record was 1.62 inches, set on Nov 28, 1997. This total is also the third highest one day total ever for Crestone/Baca.”

Typical for Colorado mountain areas, despite the heavy snowfall, school was not cancelled at Moffat school, but they did issue a 2-hour start delay.  The Crestone Charter School started at its normal time.

By mid morning the sun came out—the first real sun the area had seen in four days.

The Crestone Creative Council has youth workers available to help shovel snow in the Crestone area.  Call Lisa Bodey at 719-480-5925.