By Dillon Thomas

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – After weeks of dry conditions, a sudden snowstorm brought many small towns of southeast of Denver to a halt and caught many drivers by surprise.

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An overnight storm caused several highways to close, including Highways 24, 71 and 287.

Chris Kichnet’s truck off the highway (credit: CBS)

“I could see about a foot in front of me,” said Chris Kichnet, a driver who lost control of his truck.

Kichnet was one of many who waited for tow trucks to pull their vehicles out from ditches.

CBS4’s Dillon Thomas interviews Chris Kichnet (credit: CBS)

“[Driving in the storm] was horrible. I was going about 18 mph and squeezing the steering wheel as hard as I could, because it was so stressful,” Kichnet said.

Kichnet’s truck was stuck along Highway 24, after he witnessed a different car slide off the road.

“Two seconds later, I couldn’t see anything, we went off,” Kichnet said.

(credit: CBS)

Tow truck owners, like Michael Rosler, spent Friday afternoon clearing stuck vehicles.

“As soon as [State Patrol] opened the roads, we started pulling people out,” Rosler said.

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Rosler said he had to wait until approval was given for vehicles to be on the road, per rules placed by Colorado State Patrol.

CBS4’s Dillon Thomas interviews tow truck owner Michael Rosler (credit: CBS)

“It is dangerous. So, State Patrol has helped with saying, ‘No towing until it is safe for you guys,'” Rosler said.

Luckily, conditions cleared soon after the storm passed.

Temperatures rebounded into the 50s on Friday and melted most snow off surfaces by the afternoon.

(credit: CBS)

Some residents nearby even spent the evening outdoors. McKenna Tucker, a new resident to Colorado, said the storm was her first glimpse at Colorado snow.

She said the quick change in weather allowed her to get out and explore Castlewood Canyon State Park for the first time.

The idea that others were recreating outdoors, while he was waiting for a tow, didn’t surprise Kichnet.

“It is crazy. But, that’s Colorado for [you],” Kichnet said.

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Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.