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Xcel Energy Inc : Restoration continues from Colorado flooding

09/13/2013 | 03:07pm US/Eastern
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Rain continues to fall in Boulder County and throughout metro Denver, with forecasts for thunderstorms throughout the weekend.

In Boulder, we have implemented plans and deployed our skilled employees, working around the clock to monitor risks, assess and repair damaged facilities and maintain natural gas and electric service to customers. We continue to focus on the safety of our crews and the public. Click here for safety tips

We are working under unique conditions due to the continuing storms. We cannot access much of our remaining damaged equipment until waters recede or roads are cleared and passable, however, we have the personnel and equipment ready to restore service as quickly as possible when it is safe to do so and have made progress in areas that are open to us.

Communicating with customers is a high priority. We will use a variety of tools to ensure you are kept updated on your natural gas and electricity service.

Outage numbers and priority efforts:

We have approximately 7,000 customers out in the Boulder County area.
There are four poles down and several cabinets underwater.
Most of Nederland Colo. is without electric service due to access restrictions.
We have successfully restored service to all but 336 customers in Lafayette (originally 1577 out); those customers are served by a cabinet that's flooded.
In other parts of Colorado, there are approximately 700 customers without power. About 250 of those customers are affected by a flooded switch cabinet in Aurora at the intersection of Lansing and Alameda.
We will launch outbound call and e-mail campaigns to customers without electricity service and will target customers by outage cause as possible.

As an important safety reminder, if you ever detect a sulfur or "rotten egg" smell inside your home, it could be the odorant we put in natural gas to help detect leaks. If you notice that smell, leave your home immediately. Do not turn any electrical devices on or off and never use any phone until you are outside and safely away from the area. Then call 911 or call us at 1-800-895-2999 for any gas situations.

Natural Gas Update

We have approximately 2556 customers without natural gas service. The status of most of the areas of concern has not changed overnight. Exceptions include:

·        Dillon: Work that commenced yesterday was not completed due to high waters and the position of a truck in the water by the pipe. Though the line remains in service, crews must attend to the line but are having difficulty travelling to the location.

·        Estes Park: Crews are tending to damaged lines as possible.

·        Pratt/Missouri: A four-inch line is exposed and repairs are underway.

·        82nd/Quaker: The road leading to the pipe has been washed out we continue to monitor the situation.  

·        Loveland: Water from the Big Thompson River washed over some of the pipe last night. Crews will make repairs to the 8-inch line as conditions allow.

·        104/Brighton/Platte: Water is covering pipes, so we cannot check the condition. We have concluded that they are likely okay. We have an isolation plan ready to execute if needed.

New situations:

·        We have new incidents reported in Ft. Collins, in particular an Xcel Energy sub-station at College and Vine is now underwater and we are developing an isolation plan for it.

·        Numerous reports of exposed pipe which will need to be checked when possible.

We continue to develop plans to restore service using some assumptions based upon our knowledge of the materials and equipment involved and locations. We are contacting neighboring utilities to determine if/how they can assist us in restoration, including Colorado Springs Utilities, Black Hills, Public Service of New Mexico, NSPW and NSPM.

A helicopter may be available to us today. If so, we hope to have one electric and one natural gas person in the helicopter to fly over trouble areas and assess damage.

As an important safety reminder, if you ever detect a sulfur or "rotten egg" smell inside your home, it could be the odorant we put in natural gas to help detect leaks. If you notice that smell, leave your home immediately. Do not turn any electrical devices on or off and never use any phone until you are outside and safely away from the area. Then call 911 or call us at 1-800-895-4999.

In addition, if customers have appliances (furnaces, etc.) that have been underwater, they should have them checked before turning their natural gas on.

Please follow updates on Facebook and Twitter
@XcelEnergyCO, #boulderflood,  #COflood, #coloradoflood

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