COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - We've seen the long rows of abandoned and stuck cars left in the aftermath of this week's massive blizzard. Now, we are hearing from the people tasked with saving so many of those drivers.
Pure whiteout conditions with hurricane-strength wind gusts all happened during a storm 11-year veteran Greg Braeger with El Paso County Search and Rescue had never seen before. "Visibility was terrible," Braeger says, "We haven't had winds like that ever as far as I'm concerned in Colorado Springs."
The weather and obstacles prevented them from moving quickly. It was so bad at points they had to send one of their crew members outside to lead their rescue vehicle. The problem was if he went too far ahead, they couldn't see him.
"We actually tied a piece of paracord or a piece of string to him so we wouldn't lose him out there," Braeger says.
To trek through the sometimes ten-foot snow drifts, they used a Tucker Snow Cat and the SUSV, which they got from the army, it allowed them to go places plow trucks couldn't.
About 1,200 cars were abandoned according to EPCSAR. Workers had to check every single one to make sure no one was inside. The agency tells us they responded to 258 calls within 32 hours. That's about one call for service every seven and a half minutes.
El Paso County Search in Rescue is looking for more workers. If you are interested in being part of the team and helping those who need it, go to their website epcsar.org or their Facebook.