Cleanup underway in Fort Collins after heavy snow causes damage across city

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The spring snowstorm hit Fort Collins especially hard Thursday into Friday.

The city prepared as well as it could, covering flowerbeds across the city, but there was only so much officials could do.

With how much moisture fell, crews were out cutting off broken tree limbs while homeowners were dragging debris to the street.

Water cascaded off roofs and trees and trickled down drains in Old Town.

“It's beautiful and we need the water,” said Jenny Bacon, who lives near Oak Street and Whitcomb Street.

Thursday’s heavy snow was melting, but signs of the spring storm won’t be so easily washed away.

"He might not make it, although these lilac are pretty sturdy,” Bacon said as she tried to shake snow off bent branches.

In Bacon’s front yard, flowers and flowering bushes lay almost flat on the ground.

Bacon said on Thursday during the storm, you could hear the weight of the nearly 6 inches of snow and 3 inches of rain that fell through Friday.

“It was crazy. So I’m sitting there working away and kabam. The biggest noise. And before that I kept hearing noises like, you know, just a thunk and a this and a that. Then this thing crashed, bam. And, um, it was really loud,” she said.

The largest and oldest tree in her yard took the biggest hit.

“I think that cracked the first time and then I think the next one cracked. I was like Chicken Little the sky is falling,” Bacon said.

Across the street, Nancy York and her neighbor used a hand saw to cut a fallen branch off a shared fence.

Much of the damage falls on the city’s hands, with the biggest limbs cracking off the trees growing on city-owned property.

“The city owns this, so they get to clean it up,” Bacon said.

That cleanup began early Friday morning. The city brought out cherry pickers and tree trimmers in full force.

“My tree is really, really beat up,” York said.

“It's melting so fast now, I think it will be OK,” Bacon said.

Those in the middle of the mess say it’s just a typical spring in Colorado.

Residents have 24 hours after the storm hit to clean up tree limbs and debris from walkways and public right of ways.

The city said it is not hauling away branches from trees that fell from privately owned trees, but there are companies that are accepting them or a professional service will cut and haul them away.