Fall storm brings up to 18 inches of snow to Colorado peaks

bout 21,600 customers lost electricity for five minutes or longer starting Sunday night, Xcel Energy said. About 23,000 had shorter blackouts or saw their lights flicker because of storm damage, utility spokesman Mark Stutz said

Colorado Weather

In this Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, photo, snow begins to accumulate on hay in South Routt County, Colo., as an autumn storm, packing heavy snow, settled in across the region near Steamboat Springs, Colo. The slow-moving storm has dragged cold air into Colorado from Canada and dropped up to 18 inches of snow near Steamboat Springs. (Matt Stensland/Steamboat Pilot & Today via AP)

Colorado Weather

In this Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, photo, horses graze in the snow along Routt County Road 14 near Steamboat Springs, Colo. An autumn storm, packing high winds and heavy snow, has swept over the Rocky Mountain West and left up to 18 inches of snow for residents to deal with in its wake. (Matt Stensland/Steamboat Pilot & Today via AP)

Colorado Weather

Joined by a golden retriever named Elwood, Liza Rossi, left, and Shea Rossi make their way to school through the snow Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Steamboat Springs, Colo. An autumn storm packing high winds and heavy snow has swept through the intermountain West, leaving up to 18 inches of snow in its wake. (John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today via AP)

Colorado Weather

Snow sits on the branches of an aspen in downtown Steamboat Springs, Colo., early Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, as an autumn storm packing high winds and heavy snow sweeps through the intermountain West. (John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today via AP)

Colorado Weather

In this Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, photo, a statue outside Snow Country Nursery begins to collect snow as an autumn storm envelopes Steamboat Springs, Colo. The slow-moving storm has left up to 18 inches of snow on some parts of the state. (Matt Stensland/Steamboat Pilot & Today via AP)

Colorado Weather

Carol Sitlington uses a brush to clean several inches of snow off her Subaru which was parking in front of her home in downtown Steamboat Springs, Colo., early Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. An autumn storm, packing high winds and heavy snow, has enveloped the intermountain West. (John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today via AP)

DENVER  |  An early autumn storm brought heavy snow to northern Colorado mountains on Monday and led to power blackouts for thousands of customers.

The National Weather Service said 18 inches (46 centimeters) fell near Steamboat Springs. Red Cliff, south of Vail, reported 14 inches (36 centimeters) and Winter Park reported nearly 10 inches (25 centimeters).

About 21,600 customers lost electricity for five minutes or longer starting Sunday night, Xcel Energy said. About 23,000 had shorter blackouts or saw their lights flicker because of storm damage, utility spokesman Mark Stutz said.

Heavy snow caused trees and branches to fall onto some lines, and high winds blew other lines into each other, he said.

Power was restored to all but about 8,000 customers by mid-day Monday, Stutz said.

Most highways were open, but the storm prompted Rocky Mountain National Park to close Trail Ridge Road. It is the highest continuous paved road in the United States and reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet (3,700 meters).

The slow-moving storm dragged cold air into Colorado from Canada, National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Phillips said.

“This is about the time of year we start to see these systems,” he said.

The storm was expected to begin moving by Monday night, followed by a couple days of dry weather.

Another storm is expected to bring snow to higher elevations of the southern and central Colorado mountains in mid-week, Phillips said, while lower elevations will likely see only rain.