Yesterday, much of Colorado was caught in a “Bomb Cyclone,” an unusual weather event that, despite its Marvel-movie-plot-sounding name, is very much a real thing. Without getting all weather-nerdy, this weird weather bucket list item basically means that barometric pressure dropped quite rapidly over a short period of time, resulting in a particularly intense winter storm.
By all accounts, the conditions for affected areas were pretty, well, intense:
The latest on the #BombCyclone…
DIA closes all runways ✈️ https://t.co/UEvGYpwRrd
Snow totals ❄️ https://t.co/zKbx8mo7FE
— The Denver Post (@denverpost) March 13, 2019
— Jackie Crea (@JackieCDenver7) March 13, 2019
Current conditions at DEN 👇🥶 pic.twitter.com/YFR4q87tky
— Denver Int'l Airport (@DENAirport) March 13, 2019
Latest from @XcelEnergyCO:
— Currently 184,000 customers without service
— Service restored to 64,000 customers throughout day
— Approximately 2,500 outages in the state of Colorado
— "This will be a multi-day recovery effort"
— Matt Sebastian (@mattsebastian) March 13, 2019
This snow plow is completely stuck in the middle of the road on Ridge Gate Parkway near Cabela’s. pic.twitter.com/D0FOT6jnNe
— James Dougherty (@DoughertyKMGH) March 13, 2019
I mean, if the snowplows are getting stuck then it seems like the right time to pack it in for the day. But not for Colorado first responders.
First responders don’t take snow days
We can’t remember a time that our firefighters or police officers ever asked for a stay-at-home snow day. And that definitely did not start on Bomb Cyclone Day. As you might expect, Colorado’s first responders spent the day informing and assisting the public as needed:
Please avoid the roads Denver! If you find yourself stuck @DenverPolice can assist. DPD will work to have the vehicles short-towed from the roadway to a nearby location or parking lot. Drivers who have been short-towed, call 720-913-2000 to learn the location of their vehicle.
— Michael B. Hancock (@MayorHancock) March 13, 2019
— CU Boulder Police (@CUBoulderPolice) March 13, 2019
Here's another 'don't drive but if you do…' message: If you are out in this storm, please make sure your headlights are turned on. Don't just rely on the 'auto' function. It helps other drivers to see you in these low visibility conditions.
— North Metro Fire (@NMFirePIO) March 13, 2019
Berthoud Fire Protection District in conjunction with the 1st Presbyterian Church have now opened the Berthoud Area Community Center (BACC) as a Red Cross shelter for those who have been stranded by the storm. The BACC is located at 248 Welch Avenue, Berthoud. pic.twitter.com/EGCt2cg2yq
— Berthoud Fire (@BerthoudFire) March 13, 2019
Sometimes you even had to assist fellow first responders:
— South Metro Fire Rescue (@SouthMetroPIO) March 13, 2019
Or assist a citizen who got stuck in a very facepalm-y but oh-so-Colorado situation:
CSFD is currently trying to rescue a person stranded on an incline in Manitou. Our News 5's Sam Kraemer is on the scene live-tweeting the incident. https://t.co/2ktTlcMmN0
— KOAA News5 (@KOAA) March 13, 2019
But through it all, our firefighters and police officers came through for their communities during the Bomb Cyclone. And we just wanted to make sure you knew it didn’t go unnoticed.
Colorado’s first responders never ask for a thank you. But especially as we dig out from a historically bad winter event, we think you deserve one anyway. So THANK YOU for helping to keep our communities safe.
And now as the cleanup continues, we can all officially check “Bomb Cyclone” off our bucket lists.
Ryan Woodhouse is the Content and Publications Manager for the Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado. When not creating content for FPPA, Ryan can be found fly fishing in the Colorado high country or shouting at the TV during University of Wisconsin football and basketball games.