Surge of applications crashes Colorado unemployment server

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DENVER, (KDVR) -- In what's being called an "unprecedented" event, a surge of unemployment applications caused the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment server to crash Tuesday. 

According to a spokesperson, the department had 6,800 unemployment applications by 10 a.m.

"Even during the Great Recession, we didn't see this surge of applicants in such a short period of time," said Cher Haavind. "It's unprecedented." 

For comparison, Haavind says last Monday, the department received about 400 claims. 

"No one's been able to get on today," said Chris Fuselier, "I'm hearing they're being told to keep trying, but boy, it's really discouraging."

Fuselier owns the Blake St. Tavern, which had to lay off 90 employees since Monday's announcement that Colorado dining rooms would be shut down. 

"It's been overwhelming," he said. "I'm still shocked by what's going on." 

Fuselier put out a plea on social media for people to hire his workers, but says it's been tough to find openings with the restaurant industry in limbo. 

"I have a lot of students that work for me, they work paycheck to paycheck," he said. "I'm very concerned." 

The state's Department of Labor and Employment says it's working on a fix to the website issue. Haavind says they're expecting another surge in claims Wednesday. 

"Please bear with us and be patient as we try to stabilize these systems who have not seen this pressure before," she said. 

You can file for unemployment benefits on the state's website.

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