DENVER — About 210,000 Xcel Energy customers lost power in the Denver metro and surrounding area when a spring storm dropped several inches of heavy, wet snow.
Xcel Energy had more than 1,200 crews working to restore electricity, said a spokesperson for the company.
"While crews have been making significant progress in restoring service, the significant damage means that work will continue through the weekend," according to a news release.
More than 140,000 customers' power had been restored. As of 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Xcel's outage map showed that some of the outages had been resolved, leaving about 70,000 customers without power. Xcel said as of 7:30 p.m., that number was down to around 50,000.
"We know losing power is hard, and we thank our customers for their patience and support of our crews as they work to get the lights back on for everyone," the release says. "When it comes to restoring power, top priority is given to situations that threaten public safety, such as live downed wires. Crews will then prioritize repairs based on which work will restore power to the largest number of customers most quickly, such as transmission lines or feeder lines that serve a large number of customers."
Customers can report outages by calling 800-895-1999. They can also report downed power lines to the same number.
Xcel reminded people to stay away from downed power lines, Aguayo said.
The official snow total for the storm was 1 inch at Denver International Airport, but much of the heavy, wet snow melted on contact with warm surfaces. The storm weighed down trees, many of which lost branches under the weight.
Here are some tips for removing snow from trees:
- Be aware that accumulating snow, ice, or wind could cause limbs to break and fall at any time.
- Check to make sure the tree is safe and clear of all utility lines prior to removing snow.
- Do not attempt to shake snow off a tree if a utility line is going through its branches or is within contact distance.
- If the tree is clear of utility lines, use a broom to remove as much snow as possible from branches by brushing off or gently shaking. Avoid large, rapid movement as this could cause the limb to break.
- Do not attempt to climb a tree or use ladder to reach higher limbs.
May snow in Colorado
The City of Golden has opened a tree limb collection point at a lot off of Golden Gate Canyon Road, and up a hill next to Newstar Way.
The city there says it'll be open for the next two weeks.
The City and County of Denver said their Department of Transportation and Infrastructure collects a limited number of branches as part of its regular extra trash collection service to residents.
In order to have it collected:
- Branches must be no larger than 4 inches in diameter, and they must be cut into lengths of 4 feet or less, bundled and tied, and weigh no more than 50 pounds
- Customers may set out up to 10 bundles of branches on their large item pickup day
- Denver residents can also drop off branches at the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off center located near East Cherry Creek Drive South and South Quebec Street. Hours of operation can be found on the city’s website.
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