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Latest updates: Thousands without power after Wednesday windstorm

The storm with strong winds brought snow to the high country and caused damage and power outages across the Denver metro area.

DENVER — Tens of thousands of Coloradans are still without power after a major windstorm moved through the state Wednesday. 

The wind moved out Wednesday afternoon, leaving widespread damage in its wake. 

Check back here for updates throughout the night on Wednesday's windstorm regarding lingering impacts and insight.

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RELATED: LIVE RADAR: High Wind Warnings in Denver metro, snow falls in mountains

RELATED: Delays, cancelations at DIA due to strong winds

RELATED: Damage reported as strong winds whip across Colorado

RELATED: 35,000 Xcel Energy customers without power

6:43 p.m.: Denver opens warming center

The city of Denver has opened a warming center at the St. Charles Recreation Center at 3777 Lafayette St. in the Cole neighborhood. The center is open until 11 p.m. Wednesday and is for residents who are without power and heat. 

5:04 p.m.: Road closure in Lakewood

The southbound lanes of Union Boulevard are closed between Mississippi and Florida avenues in Lakewood after a large tree fell onto a power line. The lanes have been closed since about 1 p.m. There's no word on when the road will reopen.


4:55 p.m. Update

The High Wind Warning for Denver and eastern Colorado was cancelled by the National Weather Service in Boulder.

There are no active wind alerts in northeastern Colorado.

3:10 p.m. Update

It looks like the worst of the wind is over and done with across eastern Colorado. While it'll stay gusty over the next couple of hours, the strongest gusts are moving away from us, along with the strong area of low pressure responsible for Wednesday's wind storm. 

2:25 p.m. Updates

While it's not done yet, the wind should start to calm down over the next 2-3 hours.

Also, while the Denver area saw/sees 60-100 mph gusts today, it could have been a bit worse if the area of low pressure responsible for today's winds had tracked just a bit further north.

The low tracking a tick further south meant that Colorado Springs, Pueblo and southeastern Colorado saw the very worst of the winds today.

2 p.m. Updates

As of 2 p.m. Xcel Energy was reporting 705 power outages affecting more than 56,800 customers.

Colorado State Patrol said hurricane force winds between Boulder and Golden were putting high-profile vehicle at risk of tipping over, and restrictions are in place.

North Metro Fire tweeted a trampoline went into some power lines in Broomfield, and Xcel will have to cut power to the lines before it can be safely removed.

Boulder County Public Health said the COVID-19 testing site at the Fairgrounds is closed for the day due to the winds.

1:30 p.m. Updates

As of 1:30 p.m. Xcel Energy was reporting 583 power outages affecting more than 54,500 customers.

And at DIA so far today, there have been 133 cancellations and 436 delays.

The Christkindlmarket says it will remain closed all day: "In consideration of the safety of guests and vendors alike, Denver Christkindlmarket organizers have decided to keep the market closed for the remainder of the day, due to the high winds at Civic Center Park."

The market will reopen on Thursday.

And here's a photo of the Christmas tree that fell in Olde Town Arvada:

Credit: Darren Whitehead
The Christmas tree in Olde Town Arvada fell in strong winds on Dec. 15, 2021.

RELATED: Arvada's Olde Town Christmas tree topples in the wind

1 p.m. Overturned semis

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says Highway 93 is back open in both directions from Highway 72 to Highway 128. It was closed earlier for downed power lines and a semi truck that was blown over.

The Sheriff's Office said high-profile vehicles should show extreme caution.

There are also reports of commercial vehicles blown over due to strong winds on north of Owl Canyon to the Wyoming border, according to CSP.

12:45 p.m.: More trees down

The Denver Fire Department says it's responding to trees blocking South Lincoln and to a tree that fell into a home on South Sherman Street near East Quincy Avenue. Englewood Police were also on scene of the tree into the house.

12:35 p.m.: Olde Town Arvada Christmas tree tumbles

Traffic alerts:

  • There's a high-profile vehicle wind restriction in effect on Interstate 25 from mile marker 163 to the Wyoming state line. There are reports of several semis blowing over, according to the Colorado State Patrol (CSP).
  • I-25 southbound through the Gap is closed to commercial motor vehicles at County Line Road.
  • Colorado 285 is closed due to blizzard conditions in Park County.

As of 12:30 p.m., about 57,400 customers were without power in the Denver metro area, Boulder and up to Loveland.

At DIA, there were 131 flight cancellations and 483 delays.

The Christmas tree in Old Town Arvada has fallen over due to the strong winds, and people were being asked to avoid the area for safety reasons. City of Arvada Parks Department employees and the Arvada Police Department were on the scene.

12:10 p.m.: Zero visibility in Weld County

Traffic alerts:

  • U.S. 85 is closed between Weld County Road 100 and the Wyoming state line.
  • In Jefferson County, Colorado 93 is closed in both directions from Colorado 72 to Colorado 128.

The Weld County Sheriff's Office said there's zero visibility in north Weld with travel restrictions on I-25 and multiple crashes countywide.

South Metro Fire Rescue is responding to several calls for trees and electrical lines down in the Littleton area, with no injuries.

"Please do not approach, drive or walk over downed electrical lines," SMFR says.

12 p.m. Outdoor COVID-19 testing and vaccine sites closed

Multiple state-managed and partner community testing, vaccine, and monoclonal antibody sites are closed today, Wednesday, Dec. 15, due to high winds and the winter weather advisory. Additional closures could occur as the weather changes.

All patients with appointments are being provided information about rescheduling. There still are several testing options for those who need it. More than 30 sites across the state, including 10 in the metro Denver area, remain open. They are free, convenient, and do not require identification or insurance. Visit covid19.colorado.gov/testing for a list of locations.  

Mobile monoclonal antibody clinics are also closed and those impacted have been contacted directly to reschedule.  For more information about monoclonal antibody treatments, call 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926). The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. MT. 

11:50 a.m. Trees, powerlines down down

Traffic alert: Hwy 50 is closed from Las Animas to Lamar.

Xcel power outages are at more than 49,000 in the Denver metro area, Boulder and up to Greeley.

Loveland Police are saying trees and branches are down throughout the city.

The Costilla County Office of Emergency Management is warning its residents in the western part of the county that power could be out for at least a couple of days due to multiple power poles down.

A reminder from Boulder Police: Treat intersections with traffic lights out like four-way stops.

The National Weather Service in Boulder shared an update on wind gusts, with a 95 mph gust recorded near White Ranch Open.

11:30 a.m.: Power outages, wind gusts

Xcel was reporting about 29,000 customers without power in the Denver metro area, Boulder and Greeley.

Wind gusts were picking up, with a 91 mph gust at the NCAR Mesa Lab in Boulder and 81 mph at the National Wind Technology Center in Jefferson County. The Air Force Academy airfield near Colorado Springs recorded a gust of 100 mph -- a record for them.

There will be a big difference between what the east side and west side of Denver experiences today. The west side of the city will likely be looking at wind gusts topping out around 80 mph, while the east side may only see gusts closer to 60 mph.

The force of an 80 mph wind is about double that of a 60 mph wind gust, so expect far more issues from I-25 on west in Denver.

The Colorado State Patrol has sound advice for driving in the winds today:

11 a.m.: Power outages

Power outages are starting to crop up around the Denver metro area, according to the outage map from Xcel Energy.

As of 10:51 a.m., Xcel was reporting 126 outages affecting 13,757 customers The outages appeared to be widespread, from Boulder to Lakewood to Aurora to Commerce City.

One of the hardest-hit areas appeared to be around the area of West Colfax Avenue and Kipling Street, where more than 4,000 customers were affected.

Click here for the Xcel Outage Map.

10:45 a.m. update

The National Weather Service said travel won't be recommended this afternoon due to strong winds. NWS warns of falling tree limbs and blowing dust. Scattered power outages are possible, as well.

Road closure alert: U.S. 287 is closed from Springfield to Wiley due to crashes and power lines down.

Denver International Airport has more than 100 cancellations and about 400 delays due to the expected strong winds. Travelers should check their flight status with their airlines.

The Christkindlemarket in Civic Center will have a delayed opening. Organizers will monitor weather conditions and may decide to open after 2 p.m.

Boulder Valley School District mountain schools are closed on Wednesday. That includes Nederland Middle/Senior, Nederland Elementary, Jamestown Elementary and Gold Hill Elementary. Buses in the mountains that service Nederland and Boulder schools won't run on Wednesday.

RELATED: Colorado road conditions: Snow, wind close mountain highways

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