Power down

Winter storm causes outage in Craig, Hayden

— A storm spitting snow, ice and heavy winds Saturday night knocked out power to about 3,800 homes and businesses in Craig and Hayden, Yampa Valley Electric Association reported Monday.

The storm "dumped a heavy, wet blanket of snow," and caused "two major power outages," YVEA reported.

The first outage occurred at about 9:30 p.m. when a tree fell onto a YVEA transmission line just south of the Craig office, along the Yampa River. The outage affected 2,572 Craig and 1,238 Hayden metered locations, YVEA spokesman Jim Chappell said.

"Crews were able to route power from other sources, leaving the impacted Craig residents out for about an hour and the Hayden residents out for about an hour and a half," Chappell wrote in a press release issued Monday.

At about midnight, wind and ice caused a breaker to open, creating an outage for all YVEA customers south of Oak Creek, Chappell said.

"YVEA crews were able to close the breaker and restore power around 2 a.m. to the 880 impacted customers," he reported. "The line will be patrolled to locate any obvious problems."

Individual customers, Chappell said, reported tree limbs had fallen onto service lines, knocking out power. Crews worked throughout Saturday night and most of Sunday to restore power to customers in Steamboat, Hayden, Maybell, Craig, Hamilton and Baggs, Wyo.

Chappell said a late shedding of tree leaves caused part of the power outage.

"The big difference was that trees had not shed their leaves and were holding more snow : causing broken branches," he said.

Chappell said YVEA keeps linemen on standby "24/7 and 365 days a year," to respond to power outages. Crews work to restore power as quickly as possible without jeopardizing lives, he said.

"We try to get power restored as fast as possible using sound judgment and safety measures," he said.

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