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Colorado windstorm: Tens of thousands without power, damage throughout state

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DENVER (KDVR) — Strong wind and intense gusts were felt across the Denver area, Rocky Mountains and Colorado’s eastern plains. The Pinpoint Weather team forecasted 60-100 mph wind gusts in the mountains, foothills, and parts of the Front Range on Wednesday. A high wind warning was in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Just after 9 a.m., the National Weather Service reported a 107 mph wind gust in Pueblo. Not too long after that, a gust with a speed of 112 mph was recorded on Red Mountain Pass. The NWS released a list of the top wind gusts that pummeled the state.

The effects of these massive gusts have been felt across the state. FOX31 Reporter Nicole Fierro experienced firsthand the 94 mph wind that battered a stretch of Highway 93. Equipped with ski goggles, Fierro battled what felt like “hurricane-force winds.”

Down in Arvada, the wind served the role of the Grinch, destroying a local landmark. Wind gusts were strong enough to knock down the Christmas tree that has stood at the center of Olde Town Arvada for many years. Across town in Englewood, a 70-foot pine tree was completely uprooted and toppled onto a house.

Gusts out at Denver International Airport measured at 50 mph causing a total of 131 flight cancellations and 475 flight delays. DIA is no longer on ground delay status.

Currently, more than 40,000 customers across the Denver metro area are experiencing power outages. Xcel Energy is equipped with more than 450 employees to restore power throughout the night.

George Andrianakos, owner of Charlie Brown’s Piano Bar in the Capitol Hill neighborhood said wind knocked a portion of his patio down Wednesday afternoon.

“Around noon, an over-100 mph gust blew off our patio, onto the street,” Andrianakos said. “My thoughts are: thankful nobody got hurt, and the rest of it, we can fix.”

Jack Dyson was at Denver’s D’Evelyn Jr./Sr. High School after dozens of car windows were damaged, due to the wind. He was there to clean up the broken glass in and around his daughter’s car.

“It’s like a tornado came through it. It’s crazy!” Dyson said. “Our daughter called us after school.”

“We’re just happy she was all right. She called, she was crying, but it’s good, it was just the wind, figured it was the wind. The whole parking lot’s covered in glass,” Dyson said.

The worst of the wind has settled down as Thursday brings back sunny skies and low 50s.

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