CONIFER, Colo. --A power outage that began late Sunday night for a section of the US 285 corridor southwest of metro Denver is expected to last into Tuesday at the earliest.
The power went out near Conifer around 11 p.m. Sunday and left about 6,000 customers without power. Intermountain Rural Electric Association was able to restore power to some customers, but 4,600 remained without power Monday.
The outage was caused by a broken power pole near Tiny Town along Highway 285. Power is out for about a 20-mile stretch from Tiny Town to Conifer and Richmond Hill. People in both Jefferson and Park counties are affected.
While there may be no power, Big R Stores in Conifer stayed open for business.
“Normally we’re driven off small communities so anytime the community needs you, you’re here,” manager James Irwin said.
The dark aisles didn’t stop the customers either. We saw several in the short amount of time we were there on Monday.
Gary Bramwell of Conifer bought a hummingbird feeder and said, “It’s not like a vital thing that I need, but as long as I’m down here, I might as well get it.”
Residents in this area are used to power outages caused by winter storms. So the preparation is not the problem, the unknown time frame is.
“The greatest fear is how long,” Conifer resident Jade Dillon said. “I mean we’re OK for a little while, but not any great length of time.”
In the meantime, IREA has set up a phone charging and water station in Aspen Park.
The broken power pole is located in rough terrain, so it will take a few days for the repairs.
“It’s a difficult area to serve power to,” said Mike Kopp, IREA Manager of Corporate Affairs. “There are some very rocky, rugged places where our lines run, so if there’s an outage it can be very difficult to get to and the power restored but everybody is moving as fast as they can.”
IREA brought in a large generator to try and put power back into the line for a gas station to provide necessities for the community.