LOCAL NEWS

Community church in Colorado town houses dozens of stranded travelers

Dec 27, 2021, 11:23 PM

WALDEN, Colo. — Dozens of stranded drivers found themselves with no place to stay in a small town Sunday night.

White out conditions and crashes forced the roads to close near Walden, Colorado – which is about 35 miles from U.S. Highway 40.

Claire Heeb Carrasco and her husband were just two of those drivers. They were heading back to Salt Lake City after visiting family in Denver for Christmas. They had already re-routed because their usual path was also shut down due to impassable roads.

“The mountain passes were really tough and some people sliding off, getting stuck,” Heeb Carrasco described. “It was really scary.”

When they pulled into Walden, Colorado, a town of about 600 people and only a couple of hotels, she quickly found out there was no obvious place with rooms available.

“We checked all the places – no vacancy anywhere,” she said. “And finally, the last place, they said, ‘Oh hey, the Community Church is open.’”

About the same time Heeb Carrasco and her husband got the news they were stranded for the night, Parishioner Ann Carlstrom had gotten a call, too.

“We got a call from the Sheriff’s Department about, oh, four in the afternoon,” Carlstrom told KSL-TV.

It’s a call she has taken before, but not for a few years.

The Sheriff’s office wondered if the church would open for stranded drivers for the night.

Calstrom rushed down to the church to open the doors. Some of those drivers beat her there.

“There were some people already waiting,” she said.

And more came – a lot more.

“I think altogether there were about 80 people,” Calstrom said. “I don’t have an exact count, and about 15 dogs.”

Those 80 people and their dogs likely would have spent the night in their cars.

Heeb Carrasco said she, her husband, and their dogs found a room in the church and hunkered down for the night.

“We were just super grateful that this little town was just so ready and, like, prepared to welcome all of these people,” she said.

As for the Community Church, Carlstrom said they are happy to help.

“It was a really great experience for both sides, and people were just so cooperative and appreciative. (We were) glad to do it. We’ll do it again if the need arises.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(GoFundMe)...
Tamara Vaifanua

Mother of 5-year-old boy hit by truck says she has no bad feelings for driver

The mother of a 5-year-old boy hit by a truck spoke with KSL TV about the crash. 
14 hours ago
FILE: Bountiful Police (Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)...
Eliza Pace

13-year-old hit by car in crosswalk

A 13-year-old boy was hit by a car as he entered a crosswalk near 500 E. 2600 South in Bountiful around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
14 hours ago
FILE: Kathy Dalton takes time to teach her kids about nature while they explore the outdoors. (Sour...
Ashley Moser

Nature can help your little ones learn how to count

Preschool directors for the Stokes Nature Center say one of the best and easiest ways to teach your little ones how to count is by going on a walk.
14 hours ago
...
Ladd Egan

‘The Dignity Index’ launches pilot program in Utah to score messaging from candidates

A new project in Utah is trying to encourage political candidates to use more dignity and get rid of contempt by scoring the words and messaging they use.
14 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Andrew Adams

Trial run of license plate-reading cameras in Tooele met with mixed reactions

Sophisticated license plate-reading cameras made their debut in Tooele, but they're already drawing concerns, and police are clarifying exactly how they work.
14 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Get Gephardt: Accidental bill pay leaves woman fighting two years for a $1,387 refund

A Brigham City woman says she can't get a refund for money she accidentally sent to CenturyLink, so she decided it was time to Get Gephardt.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Community church in Colorado town houses dozens of stranded travelers