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Power outages reported across southern Colorado

Tree downed in Colorado Springs
Posted at 3:02 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 11:33:41-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Utility crews have their hands full as the sustained wind event is taking out trees and power lines across southern Colorado. We've seen wind gusts at or around 100 miles an hour throughout the day.

Kathy Allen has lived near Palmer Park for over 40 years and says she has never had a power outage last for such a long time.

"They're usually up and running in a couple hours."

Colorado Springs Utilities says crews will be working all night to try and get power restored as quickly as possible.

"I know they're probably out working and thankfully the wind is not blowing them away."

RELATED: First Alert 5 Weather tracks the extreme wind event

Colorado Springs Utilities outage map is peppered with problems large and small impacting customers in just about every neighborhood. Keep in mind with so much demand it will take an unusually long time to fix all of the problems.

As of 7:00 a.m. Thursday, about 13,0500 customers are without power from the provider. That's down from a peak of 34,000 on Wednesday.

To report downed power lines, call 719-448-4800. Learn more with CSU's Storm Center.

CSU Outages 12-16-21
Colorado Springs Utilities Outage Map. Yellow represents hazards like downed lines or tree limbs on lines. The multi-color dots indicate multiple outages.

Colorado Springs Utilities says if you live in an area with overhead electric lines, you need to check the electric pole for damage.

If it's damaged, it will have to be fixed by a licensed contractor before they can restore power.

Anyone who has yet to report that they are out of power needs to go to the Colorado Springs Utilities' page to report it. You can visit that page here.

City of Colorado Springs crews will only remove a tree if it is in a right of way or on a powerline. Otherwise, it is your responsibility to remove downed trees and debris.

Learn more: www.coloradosprings.gov/winterwind

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For Pueblo County and Otero County, Black Hills Energy reports more than 6,000 customers are without power this morning. That's down from about 20,000 on Wednesday. The majority of the outages are in southwest Pueblo.
The problems extend from Canon West to Rocky Ford.

Customers are asked to call 800-890-5554 to report outages. Follow the progress of power restoration and see current outages with their interactive map - here.

Black Hills Energy Outages 12-16-21

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San Isabel Electric reports nearly half of their customers are without power due to the winds.

Crews are ready to address the outages, but it may take longer to repair problems due to safety concerns and the amount of damage.

You can find up-to-date outage reports at siea.com. Members can report outages by texting OUT to 844-959-3013 or calling 1-800-279-7432.

San Isabel Electric 12-16-21

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What To Do In A Prolonged Power Outage

While inconvenient, most power outages don’t leave you in the dark for all too long. But when a storm hits, and the power goes out for hours, or even days, the prolonged outage can cause some major challenges and even safety concerns.

Here are six strategies to help you prepare for, and safely endure, a prolonged power outage.

While inconvenient, most power outages don’t leave you in the dark for all too long. But when a storm hits, and the power goes out for hours, or even days, the prolonged outage can cause some major challenges and even safety concerns.

Here are six expert-approved strategies to help you prepare for, and safely endure, a prolonged power outage.

To be prepared, consider buying a portable battery charging bank for your phone.

Keep Your Fridge And Freezer Closed

Your fridge can keep your food safe for up to four hours during a power outage, and your freezer can keep it for up to 48 hours, according to FoodSafety.gov. During the outage, keep your refrigerator and freezer doors shut so that cold air doesn’t escape.

If the outage is longer than four hours, you’ll need to toss perishable foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers. Even after the four-hour window, food can spend another two hours above 40 degrees Fahrenheit before it becomes unsafe to cook, according to Consumer Reports. (Here’s a chart to help you discern which foods need to be tossed and which can be kept after an outage).

The Red Cross recommends keeping a digital quick-response thermometer to check the temperatures of food to determine whether they stayed cool enough during the outage. Also, coolers (even an inexpensive styrofoam one) filled with ice can help keep your food cold during prolonged blackouts.

Know How To Store Your Medication

Prior to a natural disaster, it’s important to talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and for refrigerated medicines, advises the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Know how long your medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life. Water, heat and humidity are all factors that can alter your medication’s effectiveness, health officials say.

If You Have A Generator, Be Sure To Use It Safely

Running a generator improperly can be deadly, health and safety experts warn. These portable machines can emit dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, which is known as an “invisible killer” because it’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. In fact, more than 150 people in the United States die every year from accidental non-fire-related carbon monoxide poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

You should never operate a portable generator inside your home or garage, cautions Consumer Reports. Rather, operate as far from the house as possible — at least 20 feet, advises FEMA. Direct the exhaust away from doors or windows.

If you have a generator, FEMA recommends installing carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside bedrooms. That way, you’ll get an early warning if carbon monoxide starts to accumulate.

Power Off Your Appliances

When power returns, it could have momentary surges or spikes that could potentially cause electrical damage. For this reason, it’s a good idea to go through your home and turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment and electronics, recommends FEMA. The Red Cross does recommend leaving one lamp turned on so that you’re aware when power is restored.

Another option, if you’re comfortable, is shutting off your main circuit breaker. Also, safety experts at the Red Cross recommend using a flashlight as a source of light instead of candles, which could tip and cause a fire.

Have An Evacuation Plan

Emergency planners recommend having a household evacuation plan that includes your pets. The Red Cross has templates you can use to create these types of plans, which includes coming up with meeting spots should family members become separated, plus assembling an emergency preparedness kit should there be a prolonged outage.

Consumer Reports also recommends checking in on your neighbors if you can do so. Elderly neighbors may have trouble in extreme temperatures or navigating their home without lights.

Having a plan in place and understanding safety protocols for power outages can help reduce the stress should your area lose power for a prolonged period of time.