High winds knock down trees, cause power outages

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DENVER -- The wind picked up around midnight and continued throughout the day Wednesday along the Front Range, some gusts well above 60 miles per hour.

5,500 customers remained without power Wednesday night. Most of those customers were in metro Denver. Xcel Energy says there were 50,000 customers with no power earlier in the day.

Frank Cooper of the National Weather Service said the winds were like a ‘constant micro burst’ as they continued to blow for hours without letting up.

“I heard things blowing around in the yard all night,” said Joy Bloom. “If you are not careful you could end up in Kansas with Dorothy and Toto!”

Overnight the winds blew down limbs and trees. Signs and traffic lights felt the effects of the strong winds, too. Falling trees and limbs brought down power lines, leaving 50,000 Xcel Energy customers at least temporarily without power.

In Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood, three downed power poles left dozens of families on several blocks without power. Residents said power went off early in the morning. Some of them were forced to move food before it spoiled, and find different places to take young children.

In Centennial, Arapahoe High School was closed for the day. In Greeley and Ft. Collins about 1,000 customers had power back on by midday. In communities up and down the Front Range crews were working, cutting up limbs and trees, while others put up new signs where old ones had been blown over.

At 7-Eleven on Federal and 10th in Denver, workers used their car headlights to light up the store so deliveries could be made.

People all over dealt with the blowing wind, all the while keeping an eye on trees in their yards.

The city of Denver  set up two free tree limb drop-off locations: Havana Nursery at 10450 Smith Road… enter off Havana and Barnum Park North. The other location is at 3144 W. 6th Ave. Enter the east side parking lot via 8th and Federal. Bundle what you can in four foot lengths.

See current weather conditions here