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Timing of latest storm could delay weekend plans

People busy on last full weekend before holidays

Crews prepare for incoming storm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - It's one thing when a winter storm delays travel to and from work and school, but another matter entirely when it threatens holiday shopping and attendance at a new "Star Wars" movie.

On Friday, the Colorado Department of Transportation advised drivers to avoid overnight travel as a storm brought several inches of snow and dropped temperatures as much as 50 degrees in 12 hours.

The storm could create conditions that slow travel for most of Saturday as crews clear streets, roads and highways.

But there's mixed opinion among drivers about whether the storm was serious enough to delay or cancel plans on the last full weekend before Christmas.

For Austin Ray, the answer is no.

"I'm probably going to go see 'Star Wars' (Rebel One)," he said.  "But I have all-wheel drive, and I love this weather.  I'm excited for winter weather.  It's why I moved to Colorado."

The answer is yes for Amanda Hansen.

"We had plans to go do a movie and dinner with my boyfriend's mom, but we're probably not going to do it," she said.  "We're probably going to wait until Sunday now, just because we don't want to get out in it anyway."

Hansen said she plans to go to work Sunday, regardless of the weather.

"These changes definitely aren't what we wanted," she said.  "But it's Colorado."

Nicola Walker was undecided about her family driving to Denver before the storm.

"We aren't sure we want to drive back from Denver in bad weather," she said.  "And I don't have a lot of experience driving in it."

Walker may seek advice from her teen daughter, Laurel, who just qualified for her driver's license.

"She told me some things she learned that I didn't know," Nicola Walker said.

Despite CDOT's recommendation, the reality is some drivers will have reasons to travel during a winter storm.

"A lot of people really demand that they can travel safely and quickly on Highway 21 (Powers Boulevard) or U.S. 24," said Brad Bauer, a CDOT highway supervisor.

As the first snow fell around 10 p.m. Friday, CDOT began pre-treating highways with liquid de-icer.

"It actually keeps the ice layer from bonding with the asphalt," he said.  "So it's really helpful."

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