Severe weather for Eagle County usually involves winter storms and associated problems such as roads becoming impassable due to snow accumulation. Primary roads such as Interstate 70 and U.S. 6 are high priority for snow removal crews and are rarely closed because of snowfall. The most common causes of road closures are avalanches and accidents. During heavy snow periods, roads are cleared on a priority basis with school bus and emergency routes receiving the highest priority.
Another hazard with severe weather is exposure to cold temperatures. Temperatures in Eagle County can dip well below zero degrees fahrenheit. The most common dangers with the cold are hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia occurs when the body's core temperature is lowered by prolonged exposure to the cold and is a life-threatening situation.
Frostbite occurs when the tissue in exposed body parts freezes. While not usually life-threatening, frostbite can cause permanent disability. The wind-chill factor is the cumulative effect of temperature and wind speed on the body. It can accelerate the effects of cold temperatures by rapidly cooling a body's skin and/or core temperature.
Blizzard conditions exist when heavy snowfall is combined with wind. Blizzards are not common in Eagle County but when they do occur the primary hazard is reduced visibility for travelers.
The first step for emergency preparedness is to gather knowledge. Information on current and expected conditions for most of Eagle County can be found using the following links:
Safety tips on emergency preparedness for home and vehicle