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Heavy, Wet Snow Causing Power Outages Across Colorado During Blizzard

DENVER (CBS4) - The heavy, wet snow that is falling across Colorado during this March storm is causing power outages across the state. Poudre Valley REA said about 4,300 members were without power, Sunday morning. Xcel Energy reported 7,500 customers without power.

"The tree branches impeding into our electrical lines. We do have a couple of downed wires, which is causing for some significant outages," said Hollie Velasquez Horvath, Senior Director with Xcel Energy.

March Snow 2021
(credit CBS)

In addition to tree branches downing lines, Xcel crews are dealing with damage done by snow piling up on electric poles.

"So it is really about the heavy, wet snow and just knowing that there is damage to that infrastructure that we're actively repairing," Velasquez Horvath said.

Of the 7,500 total outages for Xcel, about 5,500 of them are in Northern Colorado.

"A significant number of the outages are up in the Greeley and Fort Collins, which is where the snow has the most impact and the wind," Velasquez Horvath told CBS4.

If you are experiencing a power outage, Velasquez Horvath encourages you to call Xcel.

"If you are experiencing an outage, we don't know that. We may know that, but it's not 100% guaranteed because our system doesn't ding us when our customers are experiencing an outage."

Xcel Energy Outage Map
(credit CBS)

Once you've notified the power company, Velasquez Horvath encourages patience.

"We have a little over 300 electric workers that started at 6 a.m. We're going to continue to get additional contract workers on board to respond to these outages. But again we're driving in a foot of snow possibly two feet of snow... so it may take us a little bit of time."

As you try to clear the snow off your trees, or run across any downed lines, proceed with caution.

"Always assume that those lines are energized. Even if you see a downed line or a sagging line, do not go near that line. Just call and let us know that there is possibly damaged lines,"

LINK: View Xcel Energy Outage Map

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