Late-spring snowstorm rolls through Aspen area, downs trees and power lines

Downed tree branches and power lines kept crews busy Tuesday after a late spring snowstorm barreled through Aspen and the Colorado mountains overnight.

Holy Cross Energy had crews out starting late Monday night and most of the power was resorted by 1 p.m. Tuesday, spokesperson Jenna Weatherred said. About 300 homes were affected, mostly in the Basalt/Willits area, east of Aspen, Red Mountain and the Upper Frying Pan.

Hundreds of trees in the upper valley lost branches or fell over, including a cottonwood tree on Hopkins Avenue near Aspen Street that landed on the house owned by Ruth Carver. It hit the roof right over her bed on the top floor, she said early Tuesday morning as she assessed the damage.

“The whole house shook and there was a terrible noise, a terrible crash coming from the roof,” Carver said. “I thought a bear fell off the roof. There’s bears here every night because we’re just a block from Restaurant Row.”

Snow totals in the area ranged from 3 to 5 inches in the upper valley. The Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory Monday afternoon calling for 3 to 6 inches above 9,000 feet.

The city of Aspen will have crews going around to help residents get rid of downed limbs. In a news release Tuesday, the city said residents can place all storm debris within 5 feet of the curb and city staff will pick up and chip the limbs by early next week. 

If the limbs are too large to move, the residents are encouraged to call a local tree service. The city will only pick up storm debris, not yard waste. For more information, residents can call the Parks and Open Space Department at 970-920-5120.

Snowy June 9, 2020

Driving in a winter wonderland … on June 9! The drive from Snowmass to Aspen this morning looked more like the start of winter than the beginning of summer.

Posted by The Aspen Times on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Weatherred said the weather also cause much of the HCE system to experience “short power outages/blinks as snow and trees cleared from the overhead lines” during the day as temperatures warmed.

Weather forecast for later this week includes a high near 80 degrees by Friday.

This is a developing story that will be updated.