photo - Steven Baker walks towards the Blodgett Open Space as snowy weather hit parts of Colorado Springs on Thursday May 18, 2017. Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette.
Steven Baker walks towards the Blodgett Open Space as snowy weather hit parts of Colorado Springs on Thursday May 18, 2017. Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette. 

Click here for the latest closures and delays

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Update 3 p.m. -

The Colorado Springs Police Department went off of accident alert status at 2:42 p.m.

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Update: 1:54 p.m. -

Because of weather, organizers have canceled the Saturday “sneak peek” at a new overlook at Ajax Mine and expanded trail above Victor, an event that was promoted in the Thursday “Go” section’s Must See Must Do column.

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Update: 1:35 p.m. -

A utility pole that caught fire at Motor City earlier Thursday knocked out power for a short period to 820 customers. As of Thursday afternoon, power had been restored to all customers except the Phil Long Hyundai dealership, according to spokeswoman Natalie Watts.

The dealership should be back up within the next two hours, she said.

The fire is believed to have been caused by equipment failure, possibly the result of bad weather, Watts said.

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Update: 1:21 p.m. -

The center lane of westbound Woodmen Road is blocked following a crash. There is debris in the roadway.

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Update: 12:37 p.m. -

The Colorado State Patrol at Castle Rock is warning that weather conditions are quickly changing in their area. Roads are wet and slushy, patrol said.

There are no current lane closures, but the patrol reported some traffic delay because of the volume of vehicles on the road.

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Update: 12:32 p.m. -

The National Weather Service in Pueblo has issued a flood warning for Fountain Creek until Saturday afternoon.

Minor flooding occurs when waters reach 8 feet. As of Thursday, the Creek was at 9.4 feet, the service said.

"Stay away from the banks of rivers and streams," the service warned. Saturated banks can easily break off and fall into potentially deadly, fast flowing flood water."

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Update: 12 p.m. -

The general rule is it's safe to start planting after Mother's Day, but general doesn't apply in Colorado.

A round of rain and snow moving through El Paso County Thursday and Friday could threaten any flowers or vegetables already planted under that advice, especially if they aren’t covered, gardening expert Diane Brunjes said.

Which is why she was working Thursday to guard roughly 2,000 flats of plants against what she expects to be the second hard freeze of the season overnight. The plants were being set out Thursday for the Horticultural Art Society’s annual sale and main fundraiser this weekend.

The sale runs from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday at 222 Mesa Road.

And with more thunderstorms in the forecast through Monday, Brunjes recommends gardeners stocking up for their summer crops continue to hold off on planting.

“I’d wait another week as least,” Brunjes said. “You don’t want to be digging in the soil because it could ruin the soil structure.”

For true warm season crops, like tomatoes, she recommends waiting until after Memorial Day.

If plants are already in the ground, Brunjes suggests covering them with plastic, buckets, coolers, cardboard, bedsheets – anything that will help them stave off weather damage.

Plants are especially susceptible to the cold right now because many of them are in bloom. She estimated plants are “way bigger than we should be” and flowering about 23 days ahead of last season

“Once we get through this, it’s going to be Spring and Summer again,” Brunjes said.

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Update: 11:59 a.m. - The intersection of Motor City and Motor Way is closed while crews work to put out a utility pole fire. Colorado Springs police are asking drivers to avoid the area.

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Update 10:57 a.m. -

Traffic on northbound I-25 through Monument is backed up for miles, according to a tweet from KOAA's Bill Folsom.

The delays are due to multiple accidents on Monument Hill. Colorado State Patrol is diverting traffic 

Update 10:51 a.m. -

KOAA's Bill Folsom has tweeted that traffic on northbound I-25 through Monument is backed up for miles.

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Update 10:47 a.m. -

Colorado Springs police are on accident alert due to weather and road conditions. During accident alert, all traffic accidents that do not involve injuries, damage to public property or suspicion of drug or alcohol use should be reported online at coloradosprings.gov

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Update 10:45 a.m. -

Emergency vehicles are blocking the left lane of southbound I-25 at Uintah as they assist with a vehicle crash.

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Update 10:39 a.m. -

All commercial motor vehicles must use tire chains at Monument, according to CDOT.

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Update 9:40 a.m.-

The crash as County Line Road (mile marker 163) has been cleared, according to CDOT.

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Update 9:04 a.m. -

The right lane of northbound I-25 is blocked in Monument at County Line Road after a crash, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Another crash on I-25 has been reported in Pueblo at mile marker 100. While that crash is in the median, CDOT warns to expect delays in both directions.

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Update 8:59 a.m. -

Colorado Springs police are reporting a vehicle crash on southbound Mark Sheffel south of N. carefree. Traffic blockage is unknown at this time.

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Update: 8:07 a.m. -

A vehicle has reportedly hit a curb and crashed on westbound Austin Bluffs, east of Regent. It's unknown if the crash is blocking traffic.

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Update: 8:06 a.m. -

Another crash has been reported on northbound I-15 near Bijou Street, but it is said to be on the shoulder.

The crash reported at Powers Boulevard and Galley Road has been removed. 

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Update: 8:04 a.m. -

The Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District took to Twitter Thursday morning to warn drivers that there has been, "Steady snow, slush on the roads and several accidents already!"

"Please slow down and allow our crews to work SAFELY!" the fire protection district tweeted.

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Update: 8:01 a.m. -

The Colorado state track and field championships in Denver have been postponed amid Thursday's snowy weather. The finals will now be pushed to Sunday.

Whether the weather also will effect Friday's meet has not been determined.

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Update: 7:56 a.m. -

The National Weather Service is warning about continued winter weather through Friday evening.

The service has issued a winter weather advisory for Teller County and Rampart Range until 6 p.m. Friday. Northern El Paso County, Monument Ridge and the Sangre De Cristo Mountains are under a winter storm watch through Friday afternoon, which could bring up to 6 inches of snow. And Pikes Peak is currently under a winter storm warning until 6 p.m. Friday.

"Travel may be hazardous due to snow, poor visibility and snow-covered roads," the service warned. 

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Update: 7:50 a.m. -

Monument has received roughly 4.3 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service log.

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Update: 7:48 a.m. -

A crash has been reported at southbound Powers and Galley Road, near where traffic lights are reportedly out. The crash is blocking the outside left turn lane and right thru lane on Galley Road.

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Update: 7:44 a.m. -

Traffic lights are reportedly out on Galley Road at North Murray Boulevard. Treat dark intersections as a four-way stop.

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Update: 7:33 a.m. -

Woodland Park reported 6 inches of snow overnight, according to National Weather Service logs.

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Update: 7:13 a.m. -

Meteorologist Emily Roehler with Gazette news partner KKTV is predicting 1 to 3 inches of snow Thursday and Friday across Colorado Springs:

- Rockrimmon: 0-3 inches

- Manitou Springs: 0-3 inches

- Briargate: 0-3 inches

- Falcon: 0-2 inches

- Cimarron Hills: 0-1 inches

- Downtown Colorado Springs: 0-1 inches

- The Broadmoor: 0-2 inches

- Security: 0-1 inches

North of Colorado Springs will see more snow:

Black Forest: 3-5 inches

Monument: 4-9 inches

Woodland Park: 5-12 inches

Cripple Creek: 6-12 inches

Calhan: 2-6 inches

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Update: 7:08 a.m. -

Snowy roads and multiple slide-offs and crashes has prompted the Douglas County Sheriff's Office to go on accident alert. Drivers involved in crashes without injuries or suspected impairment should file a report later.

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Update: 7:05 a.m. -

Multiple crashes are coming in this morning, including:

-  at Stetson Hills and Shelby River, where a vehicle hit a light pole

- at Royal Pine and Pinedale

- at westbound South Carefree Circle and Murray Boulevard

It's unknown if the crashes are blocking traffic.

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Update: 6:45 a.m. -

Colorado Springs Police is reporting a rollover crash at Meadow Ridge Drive and Austin Bluffs Parkway. It's unknown if it's blocking traffic or if injuries have been reported.

Another crash was reported at Barnes and Charlotte Parkway, where a vehicle reportedly hit a tree or a light pole.

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Update: 6:42 a.m. -

Colorado State Patrol is reporting vehicles sliding off the road on I-25 between Interquest and County Line Road. At least one vehicle lost control on Monument Hill.

"Use slower speed," authorities advised.

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Update:  6:40 a.m. -

Snow is already falling in northern El Paso County and Teller County, some of which is sticking to the roads.

Traffic cameras show a snowy Power's Boulevard from Stetson Hills on north, and residents in Briargate also have been posting pictures of snow-covered roads there. 

The Air Force Academy reported 1.3 inches of snow overnight.

Snow also is falling in Monument and in Teller County on Highway 67, causing some traffic slowing, authorities said.

Crashes were starting to be reported with drivers hitting the road for their morning commute. One crash was reported on southbound Powers, north of Barnes Road, but was said to be on the right shoulder.

Another vehicle reportedly hit a light pole on northbound Interstate 25 near Fontanero Road. That crash also has reportedly been moved to the shoulder.

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Expect rainy, chilly weather Thursday and Friday before drier, sunnier skies come to Colorado Springs this weekend.

The National Weather Service in Pueblo predicted an 80 percent chance of showers Thursday, with patchy fog before 10 a.m. and thunderstorms possible after noon. Thursday night has a 60 percent chance of rain before 3 a.m., a 50 percent chance of rain mixed with snow.

Half an inch to three-quarters of an inch of rainfall is possible Thursday, with little or no snow accumulation expected, the weather service reported.

Teller County and northern El Paso County could see heavy, wet snow Thursday into the evening, Gazette news partner KKTV reported.

"Areas on the west and north side of (Colorado Springs) will also likely see some snow," KKTV reported. "Accumulation will occur mainly on the grass, trees, and anything elevated off of the ground. This is especially true to the west and north of (Colorado Springs). Teller County will see several inches of heavy wet snow, and will likely be the big 'winners' of this storm."

Teller County is under a winter weather advisory until 6 p.m. Friday, which includes a prediction of 4 to 12 inches of snow. The advisory also applies to a small part of western El Paso County and northwestern Fremont County, the weather service's map shows.

"A cold storm system will track slowly eastward across the region tonight through Friday," according to the advisory, which was issued Wednesday by the weather service. "There will be some snow tonight, but will mostly change over to rain for Thursday afternoon, then changing to snow again Thursday evening."

Pikes Peak above 11,000 feet is under a winter storm warning until 6 p.m. Friday, with a forecast of 1 to 2 feet of snow.

In Colorado Springs, Friday has a 40 percent chance of rain and snow showers before 7 a.m., then a 30 percent chance of rain, according to the weather service. At night, expect a 30 percent chance of rain before 1 a.m., then a 20 percent chance of rain mixed with snow until 4 a.m.

Saturday's skies are expected to be partly sunny, with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon.

The weather service predicted highs of 46 degrees Thursday, 49 degrees Friday and 56 degrees Saturday.

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Contact Ellie Mulder: 636-0198

Twitter: @lemarie

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