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Cold weather's impact felt in southern Colorado

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Dec 04 2013 03:09:50 PM CST

Subzero temperatures were blamed for freezing fire hydrants and making driving surfaces slick.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Area drivers dealt with cold weather during morning rush hour and heavy snow during the evening commute.

Temperatures hovered near zero in many areas of southern Colorado as a light snow fell and made some streets and roads icy.  Fortunately, few crashes were reported.

Snow began falling at a faster rate in the afternoon, forcing the cancellation of many meetings and activities.

Colorado Springs firefighters said the cold froze water in several hydrants at the scene of a vacant house fire Wednesday, forcing them to alternate four hydrants to get enough water.

However, Steve Berry of Colorado Springs Utilities said the problem more likely was due to the hydrants being broken.  Vehicle collisions and workers who use the wrong tools are possible reasons for it, he said.

"We do maintenance on the hydrants by taking them apart," said Berry.  "We can't do it during winter.  There's no foolproof method to guarantee that a hydrant will be working when it's needed."

Berry said the utility works with the Colorado Springs Fire Department to oversee the city's 13,000 hydrants. 

Mike Waller of Woodland Park said he was prepared for cold weather.

"We have a pond in the back, we put a heater in," he said.  "We've got all of our pipes off, we've got the firewood stocked up in the fireplace."

Many people said they welcome the cold if it brings plenty of snow this winter.

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