NewsCovering Colorado


64,500 Xcel customers still without power Sunday night; outage could continue through Monday for some

Posted at 7:59 AM, Apr 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-08 09:59:11-04

DENVER — About 64,500 total customers were still without power Sunday night following a weekend wind storm, with Xcel Energy telling Denver7 the outage for some will last beyond Monday.

In all, more than 150,000 Xcel Energy customers in Colorado lost service due to strong winds and preemptive safety measures by the company. Of those 150,000, an estimated 55,000 had their power purposely turned off Saturday over wildfire concerns amid dangerous winds.

"At current rates we expect between 80-90% of outages to be resolved by Monday night but will seek ways to increase that rate if there are safe ways to do so," the update read in part.

Xcel Energy de-energized more than 600 miles of power lines at 3 p.m. Saturday. The planned outage was initially scheduled to continue into at least Sunday, but now Xcel said that Monday is a more likely timeline.

In addition to the safety outage, at least 100,000 customers lost power when strong winds swept through the area, knocking down trees and power lines.

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Xcel said on Sunday that crews were assessing the damage and would begin working to restore power in the impacted areas after the winds had died down. The exact outage restoration times will be contingent upon the extent of damages caused by the extreme winds, the company said.

The communities that are experiencing a power shutoff are primarily in Boulder County, small sections of Gilpin, Jefferson, Larimer, Douglas and Broomfield Counties, and the West Denver Metro area along the foothills, the company said in a news release.

Power was cut off in other areas of the Front Range due to strong wind. Thousands of Poudre Valley REA customers were in the dark as winds knocked trees and power lines over. The outage number was below 9,000 as of Sunday afternoon.

West Metro Fire said crews responded to nearly 50 electrical emergency calls this weekend with reports of either trees into power lines, power lines down, or sparking lines.

Power restoration may take until Monday as 150K Xcel customers wait in the dark

Firefighters in Evergreen were busy as well, but they said most of the electrical hazards they responded to involved de-energized lines. However, some of the calls involved active lines, one causing a small tree fire.

This is the first time Xcel Energy took preemptive measures in Colorado ahead of a major wind event.

A disconnected Xcel Energy power line was partially blamed for sparking the 2021 Marshall Fire in Boulder County that spread fast amid wind gusts of up to 115 mph. More than 1,000 homes were destroyed and two people lost their lives.

A mass action lawsuit against Xcel Energy was filed last year, claiming the energy provider is to blame for the most destructive fire in Colorado history. However, the company maintains its equipment did not start the Marshall Fire.