About 24 hours after the first snowflakes began to fall in LaPorte on Tuesday afternoon, about 8,000 homes and businesses served by Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association remain without power, according to the co-op’s website.
The Red Cross has established an emergency shelter for those who have not yet had power restored at the Thompson Valley High School in Loveland. For more information, call 800-824-6615.
The Oct. 25-26 snowfall has caused numerous power outages throughout the 2,000-square-mile PVREA service territory, as well as brief outages in nearby areas served by Xcel Energy. Officials estimate that about one-third of the co-op’s customers have experienced outages since 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Larimer County closed its offices in Loveland and Estes Park Wednesday and Commissioner Lew Gaiter was forced to cancel a scheduled citizens meeting in Buckeye due to the continuing lack of electricity.
Throughout the day, customers encountered busy signals when trying to reach the co-op service line. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, all available equipment and personnel remained deployed, according to PVREA. The majority of the outages are now concentrated west of Interstate 25 between Loveland and Wellington.
“Our crews have been working continuously since the first outages were reported early last night,” said Poudre Valley REA Operations Manager Glen Livengood. “We are grateful to our hard-working and dedicated team members as they battle this storm on behalf of our co-op families.”
As the snow continued and more trees fell across power lines through Wednesday, circuits that had been restored would fail again, PVREA reported. In addition to downed power lines transformers and other equipment have also been affected.
Three line crews have been dispatched from another Colorado cooperative, Mountain View Electric, to help with the outage and Poudre Valley REA has hired several contractors to prevent more damage from trees as well as repair lines.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused so many folks and appreciate the patience and understanding of our members during this weather emergency,” said CEO Brad Gaskill. ”We urge everyone to avoid downed power lines or any areas where trees are in contact with lines or other electrical equipment.”
To report an outage, PVREA customers should call 800-432-1012 or 970-226-1234.