Hurricane force winds cause widescale damage in Colorado Springs

Authorities believe winds topped 90 MPH

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. --  Wind gusts nearing 100 miles per hour rattled the Colorado Springs community Monday.

“I don't know what's going on. I've never seen winds like this. I've lived here my whole life and it's crazy,” said Melissa Harris, who lives in Colorado Springs.

Piles of broken glass littered the downtown streets as plate glass windows were blown out and the courthouse was evacuated.

On the interstate, taller vehicles were forced to turn around and stay off of I-25 from Monument south to the New Mexico border.

“I'm actually a little bit scared. People were getting blown around; there were semis down on Academy Boulevard. It's actually really crazy, I've never seen anything like this,” said Harris.

Fire crews say of the 1,151 911 calls received by dispatch since 5:30 a.m., 363 were directly fire-related.

One house west of downtown caught fire after a tree fell on it.

“It had fallen on some wires, created a fire. Hey, it's pretty close to my house but I'm glad I'm not too close,” said Michael Parker, who lives nearby.

Electric crews said the wind knocked 11,500 people off the grid and crews were working on over 300 outages.

Crews say it could take several days for crews to get up in the buckets and make repairs for everyone.

"I just couldn't believe all of the debris, all of the limbs. A tree fell down in the alley behind my house. I heard this crack -- actually I was pretty close to it and it just kind of came down with a thump,” said Parker.

City leaders said this wind storm joins those in 2005 and 2010 as the three biggest wind storms in recent memory.

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