Rescuers still trying to reach stranded drivers in El Paso County

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Photo of a snowcat performing rescues in Falcon (KOAA)

EL PASO COUNTY – El Paso County’s public information office said rescues are still taking place in the north and northeastern parts of the county Thursday morning.

The county said stranded drivers with medical calls are the first priority. By 5 a.m. Thursday, the county reported that it received about 40 medical calls “with more still coming in.”

The county said it is working to clear one lane of travel on emergency and primary routes. City and county crews have a total of 69 plows and 13 graders working to clear drifts and ice-covered roads. Law enforcement and emergency services are working to move vehicles off the road so that plow trucks can do their work.

The county said there are a total of nine snowcats deployed in parts of the county. The county estimated late Wednesday night that there were a total of 1,100 stranded drivers in the El Paso County area.

The National Guard is currently assisting with rescue operations in El Paso County, Douglas County, Arapahoe County and in Elbert County. According to the National Guard, troops rescued a total of 75 people overnight and took them to shelters. They also rescued two dogs.

Meanwhile in Douglas County, the sheriff’s office reports that 700 people stayed in shelters Wednesday night after they were stranded on I-25, Highway 83 and other roads. As of Thursday morning, deputies are busing people to their cars, which were left abandoned along some roads in Douglas County.

The county urges poeple who are still stranded to stay in their vehicles, run the engine for 10-minute intervals each hour to conserve gas and keep the cars warm. Be sure that your exhaust pipe isn’t blocked by snow.

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