FAIRPLAY, Colo. (CBS4) – High winds closed down Highway 285 for most of the afternoon near Fairplay on Monday.
The highway closed down around 7 a.m. when the wind speeds were entering the tripled digits.
There were sustained gusts in the area for most of the day and it wasn’t until late afternoon that Colorado Department of Transportation plows were able to make the highway safe.
Several buildings around Fairplay were damaged by the wind with roof shingles being blown off.
Colorado State Patrol said the wind created a ground blizzard, blowing snow so hard and fast that it completely covered the road. That made it very difficult for driving around much of Park County.
Massive snow drifts were responsible for closing the highway with some stretching three to four feet across the road.
Several drivers found themselves stuck and waiting out the closure.
“There’s not really a detour and I sat here a long time before I even realized what was going on. I heard on the radio and realized why it was closed,” said local Dan Kremer.
Snow plows from all over the state were brought in to try and help clean up.