Power restored to Summit County, says Xcel Energy
UPDATE 2:38 p.m.: Power has been restored to the entire county, according to Michelle Aguayo, a spokesperson with Xcel Energy. Aguayo noted that there were still a few outages, though they are isolated and unrelated to the low pressure natural gas line that triggered controlled power outages this morning and into the afternoon.
Xcel Energy is still trying to determine the cause of the pressure drop in their natural gas lines, as well as trying to locate the origin of the issue.
“Because of all of the snow and mountain terrain, it’s difficult to pinpoint where the issue may be stemming from,” said Aguayo.
UPDATE 12:48 p.m.: Power has been restored to a majority of the county, according to Michelle Aguayo, a spokesperson with Xcel Energy.
Aguayo said that power has been restored to about 13,800 customers, while crews are still working to restore power to the last 3,800 customers still suffering from outages. Xcel was able to reroute where the natural gas was flowing in order to create a temporary fix while they continue to search for the source of the problem. While a permanent fix may not happen today, Aguayo said that power should be fully restored to the entire county around 1 p.m.
UPDATE 12:38 p.m.: The Summit County Sheriff’s Office is reminding drivers heading through the county to be careful due to rolling power outages. Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said that a number of accidents have been reported across the county due to traffic signals going on and off with the power outages. When a traffic signal is down, the intersection is meant to act as a four-way stop, with vehicles taking turns in the same way as stop signs. The Colorado State Patrol is expected to have an increased presence throughout the county to help mitigate traffic concerns while Xcel works to fix the natural gas pressure issue. Additionally, FitzSimons noted that the Summit County Justice Center is currently running on a generator. The jail is currently on lockdown due to safety concerns. The sheriff’s office is currently in contact with Red Cross, which is standing by in case the power outages last through the night and warming shelters are necessary.
UPDATE 10:15 a.m.: At about 4 a.m. this morning Xcel Energy experienced low natural gas pressure in areas around Summit County, said Mark Stutz, a spokesperson with Xcel Energy. At 5:30, Xcel began an effort to stabilize and balance the system using controlled outages, rotating power to different areas around the county every 30 minutes to prevent gas furnaces from operating and provide relief on the gas system. Stutz said that the periodic outages have effected about 17,600 customers in the Summit County area. There is currently no estimate on how long the outages will continue as Xcel continues to investigate the cause of the low natural gas pressure.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced on its social channels it has re-opened the Beavers and Montezuma chairlifts after the delay due to the power outage.
Copper Mountain Resort posted on Twitter that its Rendezvous, Blackjack, Mountain Chief and Tucker Cat are all on an extended delay due to the power outage. Timberline is on a breakdown and is estimated to reopen in 30 minutes.
UPDATE 9:19 a.m.: Summit County is experiencing widespread power outages due to a major gas leak in the region, according to a release from the Summit County Government. Xcel Energy is working to mitigate the issue, but rolling power outages are expected throughout the afternoon. If you rely on electricity for medical equipment, please prepare your backup plans.
If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg smell inside your home, it could be the odorant that is added to natural gas to help detect leaks, the release states. If you notice that smell, leave your home immediately. Do not turn any electrical devices on or off and never use any phone until you are outside and safely away from the area.
For more information call 1-800-895-2999. In the case of emergency call 911.
UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: Keystone Resort will open with limited services. The River Run Gondola, Peru Express and Montezuma Express chairlifts will open at this time for skiing and snowboarding.
Power is out across Summit County this morning.
The Summit School District has announced that its elementary schools are closed today due to the outages. Breckenridge and Keystone resorts have also announced a current closure. Copper Mountain Resort is also experiencing power outages on the mountain but has power in the base areas.
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