DENVER (KDVR) — Update 12/31 11:24 a.m.: Significant progress was made overnight by the 350 employees and contractors pushing to restore energy to Boulder customers.
“This has been an incredibly challenging time for many of our communities, and we are working hard to restore power and natural gas to customers,” said Alice Jackson, president at Xcel Energy Colorado.
About 80% of affected customers’ service has been restored as of this morning, with about 15,000 customers remaining.
At the behest of city officials, Excel turned off natural gas and electric services to their customers in Superior and Louisville in an effort to minimize safety concerns that could worsen the situation for crews fighting the Marshall Fire.
The energy company is also offering electric heaters to affected customers in Louisville and Superior. These can be acquired at the Red Cross shelter at YMCA in Lafayette at 2800 Dagny Way.
Around 150 Xcel employees will continue to try and restore natural gas services to after assessing the damage. It is estimated that this process will take several days as restoring natural gas services can only be done by going house-to-house.
“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the wildfires, and we are calling in extra hands from across the region and beyond to safely restore service wherever possible,” said Jackson, “Conditions continue to be challenging, so we thank customers for their patience as our crews continue to work around the clock.”
If customers detect a sulfur or rotten egg smell inside or near their home, it could be the odorant that we put in natural gas to help detect leaks, and they should leave their home immediately. Do not turn any electrical devices on or off, do not use a garage door opener, and never use any phone until they are outside and away, then call us at 1-800-895-2999. In a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
In the coming days, Superior and Louisville can continue to find updates on the restoration efforts at xcelenergy.com.
Update: 12/30 10:15 p.m.: Xcel Energy said in a press release they expect to end the outages overnight Thursday.
Original Story: Despite being hundreds of miles away, Coloradans who live in the high country and the San Luis Valley will feel the impact of the Boulder wildfires in their own homes.
According to a news release from Xcel Energy, the wildfires have impacted the company’s natural gas infrastructure. To decrease the strain on the system, the company is putting in place controlled electrical outages in Summit, Grand, Lake, Eagle, Saguache, Rio Grande and Alamosa Counties through Thursday night.
No more blackouts are expected in the Mountain Parks Electric service area in Grand County, according to the local sheriff’s office.
The outages are expected to last about an hour each. Xcel Energy is asking customers in Summit and Grand Counties to conserve natural gas during this time.
Currently, Xcel Energy is still assessing whether it is safe to re-enter their facility and restore service to normal.
The company is asking customers in those areas to prepare for controlled outages by shutting off electronics and devices. You can find more energy conservation tips here.
Xcel Energy shut off natural gas services to customers in Superior and Louisville to minimize safety concerns.