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Wednesday’s windstorm reminiscent of stronger storm nearly five years ago in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The impact of Wednesday's strong winds roaring through southern Colorado almost pales in comparison to the damage caused by more powerful winds on Jan. 9, 2017.

On that day, wind speeds of more than 100 mph caused extensive damage across the city -- knocking down numerous trees and wooden fences, ripping power lines, breaking windows and blowing down several semitrailers.

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One of the more memorable images of that storm was posted by KRDO NewsChannel 13; a swimming pool cover torn from its moorings and flapping in the wind, spraying water and looking more like a witch's cauldron. The photo and video went viral on social media.

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It took city crews six months to recover from the aftermath of that storm.

City forester Dennis Will said that although Wednesday's winds were less intense than in the 2017 storm, he expects the same amount of damage this time.

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"It's because we have so many city trees that we can't properly maintain because of limited resources," he said. "And that doesn't count trees on private property. It's expensive to maintain trees regularly. That's why most people don't do it."

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With many trees fallen across the city Wednesday -- some in the same areas targeted in 2017 -- Will said that except for emergency situations, crews won't start cleaning up until Thursday morning.

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"With the wind blowing debris around, it isn't safe to be out there," he said. "We've had nearly 100 reports of downed trees as of mid-afternoon."

Jim Reid, director of Pikes Peak Regional Emergency Management, thanked citizens for heeding the advice to stay home during the storm.

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"In 2017, the city and county each had their own emergency management offices," he said. "We've now merged into one office. We're much more efficient in monitoring the weather and responding to whatever's needed."

To report a fallen tree on city property, visit: https://coloradosprings.gov/page/citizen-request-gocosprings-app.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

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