EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Powerful wind gusts ripped roofs from buildings, uprooted trees, snapped power poles and toppled high profile vehicles Monday.
The Colorado Springs Airport recorded an all-time record wind gust of 80 mph at 12:02 p.m. and a gust of 101 mph was recorded at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station earlier in the day.
The El Paso County Courthouse was evacuated and closed for the day after the powerful gusts ripped chunks of roofing from the top of the 5-story building. Tejon Street and Vermijo Street were closed, and deputies used shields to protect people from the debris as they escorted them out of the building. The courthouse is scheduled to reopen at noon Tuesday.
At Calvary Baptist Church, 1712 S. Corona Avenue, the sanctuary roof was torn off.
People at Fort Carson were ordered to shelter in place for much of the day. The order was lifted at around 3:40 p.m.
The widespread power outages caused Harrison School District 2, Widefield School District 3 and the Vanguard School to close for the day.
Photos and videos submitted to KRDO NewsChannel 13 by viewers showed collapsed carports and sheds as well as numerous downed trees.
CDOT banned high profile vehicles from traveling on I-25 between Monument and the New Mexico state line. An employee of the National Weather Service counted ten overturned semi-trucks on I-25 between mile markers 132 and 138 in Fountain.
School districts 11, 22, 38, 20 and 49 announced that school buses would not be in service at the end of the school day because of CDOT's ban on high profile vehicles.
Mountain Metropolitan Transit also suspended bus service for a time. City buses began running again at 3 p.m.
Trees and power lines bore the brunt of the storm. Thousands lost power as huge trees came crashing down on lines.
The falling trees also landed on homes and cars and blocked streets. Debris from the downed and damaged trees littered parks, school yards, and other open spaces.
The damaging winds were not limited to El Paso County. In Pueblo, trees and power lines fell and widespread power outages were reported to the south and west of Pueblo.