Storm Update - County Issues Local Disaster Declaration

stranded vehicles near I-70

Working with the State Department of Homeland Security, Adams County Commissioners and County Manager Raymond Gonzales have issued a Local Disaster Declaration. This move allows the Colorado National Guard to deploy resources and provide assistance across the county.

As of 11:00 p.m., the decision was made to open all county buildings and the Justice Center at Noon on Thursday, March 14. People selected for jury duty do not need to appear at the Justice Center and any hearings scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, will take place at the scheduled time on Friday, March 15.

Road conditions are unsafe in many pockets throughout the county. More than 100 motorists were stranded at some point today -many are still sheltered in their vehicles. Adams County Sheriff's Deputies have made phone contact with the stranded motorists, advising them to stay in their vehicle as work continues to clear the impacted roads. County Public Works crews report that 120th Avenue is especially bad and imassable between Tower and Imboden Road. Several vehicles, including county plows and graders, have become stuck in the deep snow drifts on 120th Avenue. Vehicles that were abandoned after drivers became stranded have been towed when possible to assist with clearing roads for plows and emergency responders. Vehicles have been towed to the District Attorney's office, 1000 Judicial Center Drive in Brighton. 

There are also significant power outages across the county with at least 40,000 customers in the dark as of 10 p.m. Temporary shelters have been established at; Bennett Rec Center, Eagle View Center in Brighton, City Park Rec Center in Westminster, and Denver International Airport. 

County crews are being assisted by a National Guard unit from Longmont. They are providing personnel and heavy machinery to assist with attempts to clear roads and reach stranded motorists.


As of 3:00 p.m., Public Works employees are reporting a high volume of stranded vehicles and downed trees that are preventing plow operations in some areas. Plow crews are working directly with law enforcement and emergency responders to provide service to assist ambulances, fire trucks and other agencies as they respond to calls. A combination of stranded vehicles, downed trees, and widespread power outages have created treacherous conditions for all motorists, including our plow operators who report near zero visibility across much of the county.

Additional county resources are being deployed from Parks and Open Space and Facility and Fleet Operations. These departments are responding with personnel, plows and material spreading trucks. Parks employees, equipped with chainsaws, will ride along with county plows to provide emergency tree removal for high-priority roads that are blocked as a result of the storm.

Travel is strongly discouraged. Conditions vary across the county and once trapped inside a road with stranded vehicles, motorists will have a difficult time navigating an escape.