As high numbers of Chaffee residents try to work from home during this COVID-19 pandemic, nature threw us a curve ball this week.
High winds on Jan 13 and 14 earlier this week damaged two Colorado Central Telecom communications towers, knocking out internet service to a swath of central Chaffee County. Internet service and mobile phone service tied to the internet has been out for more than two days.
At this point in time, the Colorado Central Telecom website is showing that both the Big Sandy and the Mt. Princeton communications towers of Colorado Central Telecom remain down. The company reports it will be at least another 36 hours before service is restored.
Winds were clocked in the area at more than 70 MPH during the windstorm, with gusts of 80 MPH and higher. The National Weather Service of the United States identifies sustained winds or frequent gusts of 64 knots (118 km/h, 74 mph) or greater as being of hurricane force.
The same windstorm hit much of the high country and metro Denver area, with Breckenridge recording a gust of 116 MPH, the highest ever recorded there.
During the 2016 Christmas Day windstorm, Monarch Pass recorded a wind gust of 148 MPH.