Local business owners and home owners prepare for wind storm


COLORADO SPRINGS — With the strong wind storm that’s moving into southern Colorado tonight, homeowners and business owners are getting their properties ready.

Old Colorado City and the Old North End are a few of the neighborhoods that are hit hard during strong wind storm events. In Old Colorado City today, neighbors were helping neighbors cut down fragile branches from trees around their home.

“We got these Chinese elm trees and they’ve been here a little over 100 years, and the small amount of wind will break these branches especially when there are no leaves on them,” said Tony Mendieta, who spent part of his day cutting down fragile branches.

Business owners were also preparing for the wind storm.

Bon Ton’s Cafe is a business that sits on the corner of S 26th St. and W. Colorado Ave, and it’s a business that’s known for the Christmas decorations outside.

“We have a lot more to put up. So we’ve delayed putting them up in case of wind storms. We also didn’t put anything across the top of the building this year, nor the awning, because we are concerned about the wind,” said Barbo.

Meanwhile, Captain Mike Smaldino with the Colorado Springs Fire Department recalls last December’s storm, when the roof was damaged at their headquarters.

“We’re right there with you. It’s not that we’re immune to it. We have 23 buildings across our city that we’re possibly going to get the same damage as you,” said Captain Smaldino.

That’s why he says it’s important to be prepared, especially in areas more prone to damages and power outages, like Old Colorado City and the Old North End.

“That stuff that might tip over, that might break glass, make sure it’s put away, make sure it’s in a protected area, away from the sides of your building or those entrances and stuff,” said Captain Smaldino.

Meanwhile Barbo and her staff, also brought in a lot of decorations ahead of the wind storm.

“I hope that it’s not as bad as predicted. Hopefully we’ll cross our fingers and it will be milder,” said Barbo.

The Colorado Springs Fire department is prioritizing calls tomorrow. First responders will get sent to any structure fires or grass fires first. In December during last year’s severe wind storm, on average, the fire department received one call every 30 seconds.

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