Hundreds of Xcel Energy customers in Uptown Denver have lost power at least eight times since June 10 … and a spokesperson for the utility company said at this point, crews have no idea why.
“To be honest, we can’t find out what’s causing it,” Xcel spokesperson Mark Stutz said.
Stutz said the first outage in the roughly six-block area related to the mystery issue was reported on June 10. The next outage – which lasted five-and-a-half hours – happened on July 8.
The next outage was on July 24, then July 25, July 29, Aug. 4, Monday and most recently on Tuesday.
That outage happened while the band Chvrches was slated to go on at the Ogden Theatre – leading to a delay:
The outage on Monday also delayed the Chvrches concert.
Stutz said the mystery outage is affecting a six block area roughly defined as from Clarkson to Downing streets and East 16th to East Colfax avenues. Some of the outages are outside of this area, Stutz said.
The outages have been at least 80 to 90 minutes long.
“It’s highly unusual even for us,” Stutz said.
Multiple crews were in the neighborhood on Wednesday morning trying to find the culprit for the lost power. Stutz said the issue could be tied to something very small and difficult to spot.
He said people have heard a boom outside of the Ogden just before some of the outages, but that this blown fuse is a symptom rather than a cause of the troubles.
Stutz also said that the outages aren’t related to population growth in the area … but he can’t say what the actual cause is, or when the issue will be fixed.
“I’m fairly confident we’ll find it,” he said. “It’s not something we want to happen.”
Stoney Jessup, the owner of Stoney’s Bar and Grill, said their uptown location has had to send up to 300 people home due to the power outages on a busy night, and that it means the bar’s servers and bartenders are leaving without the tips they rely on.
As a business, he said customer loyalty is the most important thing they have going for them.
“If [the outages] continue, I think that will put us at risk,” Jessup said.
Stutz, who declined an on-camera interview, asked that customers who see something unusual call 1-800-495-4999. In the meantime, crews are still looking for what’s leaving 350 customers in the dark.
“There is something that appears to be fairly obscure at this point that’s causing repeated outages,” he said.
On Friday, Xcel Energy announced they are going to do some work in the area to hopefully improve the reliability of electric service.
That work will be done starting at 4 a.m. Saturday and will include a brief power outage for about 20 customers between 17th Street and Colfax Avenue and Clarkson Street and Ogden Street. Xcel said the outage should only last about five to ten minutes.