High winds ruin weekend plans

By: James Hopkins Email
By: James Hopkins Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - For the fourth day in a row, the Grand Valley had to fight strong winds, blowing dust and cooler temperatures.

Good news, the end is near. The winds should be gone shortly after sunset Monday.

Just like the seemingly never–ending winter, this spring has been full of surprises. Unlike most spring storms, this one is a very slow mover and the relentless wind is starting to rub people the wrong way.

It all started Friday afternoon. Winds came out of the southwest around 20 miles an hour with gusts up to 40 and they only got stronger.

"Sometimes the wind got so heavy my coat blew off my shoulders," says Andrew Fodera.

"I've never seen anything like it in all my life," says Penny Hopson.

"The wind is terrible, I'd much rather have snow and rain than wind any day," Jerry Card.

Winds topped out around the Grand Valley near 50 miles an hour,
and in some places, between 60 and 70 miles an hour, which ruined some weekend plans.

"My wife had a baby shower in Palisade and it ruined it, they had to move the shower inside," says Card.

"We tried to plant flowers and it blew the flowers and the dirt away," says Hopson.

All that dirt made breathing and seeing a challenge. "I couldn't walk anywhere for the fact of all the dust," says Fodera.

"I could see the outline of the Mesa and the mountains and down the road a few miles," says Card.

Early Monday morning, the Grand Junction Fire Department was called out to a fire in the Redlands. "It started with a controlled burn that got out of control," says Mike Page of the Grand Junction Fire Department.

The strong winds caused the fire to spread quickly and break out of the planned boundary. "They had a cleared space that would have been great on a day when the wind wasn't blowing," says Page.

The wind was caused by a slow moving, but strong, cold front. The front passed through Sunday night, knocking Monday's daytime high down by 20 degrees. "I woke up this morning and it was 44 degrees and I was cold," says Hopson.

But for most, the cooler temperatures are a welcome sight, if that means the wind will soon be gone. "If that's the case then back to normal life, mountain biking and fun stuff like coming outside," says Card.

The Fire Department recommends for people who want to burn to use common sense. Even if there isn't Red Flag warning, don't burn on days when the winds are forecasted to be high.

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