DENVER (KDVR) — A snowstorm is hitting Colorado, and officials are urging travelers to be prepared — especially by thinking twice before following GPS down an alternative route.
Any snowstorm hitting the state will likely lead to highway and interstate closures, but that does not mean local roads will be in any better condition, Colorado State Patrol warns.
“Google Maps and other navigation apps have led motorists off the main roadways once they are closed” during a snowstorm,” CSP’s Limon Troop posted. “The new routes can lead drivers down county roads that are not maintained.”
That has led to serious issues for some drivers.
“During the last blizzard, several people were stuck in drifts, or deep snow for hours or even days in extreme circumstances,” CSP said.
Drivers are warned that if the highway or interstate is closed, that means “the county roads will be impassable as well,” according to CSP. So instead of trying an alternative route on GPS, drivers are encouraged to wait it out at a nearby town at a restaurant, truck stop or hotel.
While the Colorado Department of Transportation is responsible for clearing state-maintained roads, that does not include local routes. Major highways will get cleared first, giving drivers a better opportunity to get back on the road more quickly instead of getting stuck on a local road that will not be cleared with any urgency.
CDOT says its road-clearing plans focus on Interstates 25, 70, 76, 270 and 225, as well as C-470 and other major routes.
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