When the emergency shelter in Fairplay ran out of blankets Saturday night, volunteers went door-to-door collecting extras from locals.
When the hotels ran out of rooms, managers let stranded travelers sleep in the lobbies. When the shelter’s cots were full, volunteers spread out the high school’s wrestling mats to try to keep as many people as possible off the floor.
“Words don’t even describe what this small group of volunteers pulled off here,” said Dave Kintz, chairman of the South Park Salvation Army.
16-hour rescue mission saves 22 in Colorado mountains
SOUTH PARK — The small community of Fairplay in Park County doubled in size over the weekend, when strong gusts stranded more than 700 holiday drivers.
The windstorm started late Friday evening and continued through Sunday. The wind was so strong both Friday and Saturday nights, gusts clocked in around 85mph.
“It was a little overwhelming,” said David Kintz. "We sheltered over 760 people in over 2 days which is the equivalent to the population of our town".
Kintz is Park County’s coroner, but he also serves as the chairman of the South Park Salvation Army. Together, the Salvation Army and Park County opened an emergency shelter to assist those in need.
Jeffco Tweet with video
Chaos erupted during a recent weekend snowstorm in Colorado resulting in hundreds of mountain travelers getting stranded. One instance involved a 16-hour rescue mission that saved 22 people on U.S. 285 between Kenosha Pass and Fairplay on Saturday.
During the 16-hour mission, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was on the scene along with its snowcat and the Park County Sheriff’s Office. Twenty-two travelers and three dogs were rescued after being stranded for several hours on U.S. 285 in the wake of the powerful snowstorm that left many of Colorado’s roadways and mountain passes covered in ice and several inches of snow.