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Crews working to restore power to residents around damaged area in Poudre Canyon after mudslide

Poudre Valley REA will have contracted crews begin construction on an alternate route for downed power line poles on Friday.

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — 101 members who receive power from Poudre Valley REA, the electric utility that supplies power for people who live down the Poudre Valley into the area around the town of Rustic, are still without power as of noon Friday. 

The Chief Operating Officer of the agency, John Bowerfind, tells 9NEWS six power line poles along the main power line that runs along Highway 14 were knocked down as a result of Tuesday's mudslide. 

They've continued to update the public through their website

“We’ve had to be pretty creative out there based on the terrain. We’ve got the river and some mountains we are trying to work between," he said. 

On Friday, more wet weather is expected in burn scar areas.

In a statement Friday, Bowerfind said:

"Our concerns are for what we’re doing now, rebuilding lines for our members that remain without power in the area, and not on speculating what the weather may do. Our crews are out there and we hope to be finished with construction today. That being said, we’ll deal with whatever may come as quickly and safely as possible to do so.

"The temporary line should provide power to those members affected until we can construct a permanent solution. We can’t do much against severe flooding and mudslides, but we’ll be there for our members through whatever may come."

Credit: Austyn Knox
A damaged power line hangs over the Poudre River Thursday after a mudslide took out 6 power line poles.

Much of the mainline has sections past the town of Rustic where the power lines go over and across the river.

"And the location where the line is built right now, is in an area that’s not accessible for our crews to rebuild the line so we have found an alternate route that we are going to start construction on tomorrow."

The area he's referring to is near and around the Black Hollow Road area, which was heavily impacted by the mudslide. 

Several structures were destroyed, and several people remain reported missing.

Bowerfind says crews have been working and planning on constructing a temporary, and alternate route, that involves building a bypass power line route closer to the highway itself, rather than across the river. 

"For any of our members that are without power right now, we are diligently working to come up with a solution to repair the line", he said. 

Friday is when contracted crews will begin constructing that bypass, and they are hoping to restore power to at least 90 customers by the end of the day, Bowerfind said. 

"For the remaining 10 members in the Black Hollow Road area, power will unfortunately remain off until debris is cleared and access across the bridge is deemed safe for our trucks," the latest update on their website reads. 

The agency said it has been prepared to take on big fixes like this, as they've also had to deal with restoring power following the Cameron Peak fire. 

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