Xcel Energy is responding to hundreds of reports of power outages that affected more than 10,000 households around the Denver metro area today. The utility expects to power up thousands of houses by this evening, but some cases could take longer.
The utility had fielded about 230 people, including dozens of vegetation-clearing crews, as of early afternoon.
The outages follow extremely high winds on Tuesday, which were strong enough to scatter furniture onto Interstate 25, rip roofing from buildings and knock traffic poles flat across the road.
By 4:30 p.m., the utility had reported significant progress on the outage, with about 4,500 households still missing power. But some outages could last longer, especially if they involve downed trees, downed power lines or damaged equipment.
“If you do have extensive tree damage, that can extend the timeline. And more likely, if you have damage to your equipment, that’s going to require you to bring an electrician to fix it,” said Xcel spokesperson Mark Stutz.
Meanwhile, the utility is calling in crews from out of state — an unusual step. “Other utilities in the state that might normally assist us with an outage like this are dealing with their own problems,” Stutz said.
You can report outages and downed lines to Xcel at 1-800-895-1999. If a power line is in contact with an object, call 911.
Among the notable damage during the storm:
- Wind gusts were recorded at 75 mph near Glendale, 70 mph at Denver International Airport and 89 mph in Louisville. At one point, about 64,000 Xcel customers in Colorado were without power.
- A section of roofing material came off the Denver Performing Arts Center and landed over a pickup truck.
- The plants on top of the parking garage near the Xcel building caught fire for unknown reasons.
This post will be updated.