Animal knocks out Craig's power

About 10,000 Yampa Valley Electric Association customers lost power early Friday morning.

YVEA spokesman Jim Chappell said power went out to customers from Baggs, Wyo., to Hamilton and from Hayden to Elk Springs at 2:33 a.m. for about four minutes.

The outage affected all of YVEA's Craig customers.

An animal interfering with Xcel energy equipment near the Craig Station Power Plant caused the outage.

The problem was fixed by remote a few minutes after power went out.

Chappell said power was out to almost all of the clients in YVEA's western service area.

Electric companies go to great lengths to keep wild animals away from electrical equipment, Chappell said, but sometimes animals damage equipment anyway.

"YVEA, Xcel, Tri-State (Power and Generation) all go to quite a bit of extent to ensure animals can't get in," Chappell said. "But sometimes there are animals that are persistent and find a way."

Snakes can be particularly difficult to keep out, Chappell said.

Sometimes predators are drawn to electrical equipment because birds have nested near it, Chappell said. But electrical workers try to keep bird nests to a minimum.

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