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Polis verbally issues disaster declaration ahead of dangerously cold temperatures

The move opens up several state assets "to ensure people can access the resources they need to stay safe during the winter cold snap and storm."
Posted: 8:52 PM, Jan 11, 2024
Updated: 2024-01-12 09:57:53-05
may 2019 snow denver

DENVER — Governor Jared Polis verbally issued a disaster declaration Thursday afternoon ahead of bitterly cold temperatures that will push through the state this weekend.

A major blast of arctic air will blow through Colorado this weekend through Monday, not only dropping low temperatures well below zero but also bringing dangerously cold wind chills of 20 to 30 degrees below zero for several days.

It's a type of storm system Colorado only sees one to two times a year.

The nosedive in Colorado’s temperatures will be accompanied by heavy snow in the mountains and light to moderate snow in the Denver area, the Front Range and the eastern plains.

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Denver7 | Weather

Colorado wind chills to drop to 20 to 30 degrees below zero, including in Denver

Jeff Anastasio
3:35 PM, Jan 11, 2024

The declaration authorizes the use of the Colorado National Guard "to ensure people can access the resources they need to stay safe," according to an announcement by the Governor's Office. The order also activates the Colorado State Emergency Operations Plan and allows the Department of Public Safety and its Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) to take "all necessary and appropriate state actions" regarding mitigation and recovery efforts.

“No one should freeze to death in our state for lack of shelter. We are working with cities and local communities to ensure that everyone has a warm place to go during this extreme cold snap,” said Polis in a statement.

Cities and counties across the state are opening emergency warming centers to ensure everyone has a warm place to stay. Denver will keep its emergency overnight shelters open through Monday. Boulder officials announced Thursday that the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, located at 4869 Broadway, will open as an emergency warming shelter beginning Friday.

Below is a list of warming centers provided by the state. A list of warming centers can also be found on DHSEM's website.

  • Boulder — Boulder Shelter for the Homeless: 4869 Broadway (Shelter)
  • Denver — Denver Navigation Campus (former Doubletree hotel). Open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. (Shelter)
  • Denver — New Directions (former Best Western). Open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. (Shelter)
  • Fort Collins — Catholic Charities: 460 Linden Center Dr. (Shelter)
  • Fort Collins — Murphy Center: 242 Conifer St. Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Monday. (Warming Center)
  • Greeley — United Way Cold Weather Shelter: 870 28th St. (Shelter)
  • Greeley — Guadalupe Center: 1442 N 11th Ave. (Warming Center)
  • Jefferson County — The Severe Weather Shelter Network has opened several shelters. Guests must call 720-398-4041 for a reservation.
  • Thornton — The city is asking those in need to call the Community Connections HOTline at 720-977-5900 for warming center locations.                     
Colorado wind chills to drop to 20 to 30 degrees below zero, including in Denver

In its announcement Thursday, the Governor's Office urged Coloradans to adhere to the following safety tips:

Check the latest Colorado winter weather alerts

If you're looking for any sign of good news in terms of temperatures, seasonable averages return Wednesday when Denver is expected to see a high of 40 degrees and milder conditions.


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