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Energy Crews Work To Restore Power After Winter Storm

(CBS4) – After a late winter storm knocked out power to more than 200,000 people in the Denver metro area, Xcel Energy announced almost all customers would have their services restored by Sunday evening.

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Nearly two days after snow blanketed their Centennial neighborhood, Tom and Debbie's batteries were running low and their layers of clothing were adding up Sunday. With the power still out, the couple's patience was also wearing thin, as each extra hour without services brought a unique combination of uncertainty and concern.

"I have a couple of serious health conditions," Tom said. "I'm on a special diet because of my health risks, and we fix all our own meals, and this is forcing me to go out and get food that really isn't compatible with my diet."

Tom and Debbie were among the more than 25,000 Xcel customers who started Sunday without power, two days after the widespread outages began. It was the aftermath of what Hollie Velasquez Horvath, Xcel's regional vice president, called one of the more impactful spring storms in recent memory.

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"We had about 330,000 customers that were out of power starting Friday night," Horvath said. "It is just a lot of infrastructure breakage. It's the downed power lines, downed poles, and tree limbs."

Horvath said 500 crews went out Saturday and more than 1,200 worked Sunday to fix the countless downed lines and poles, with a goal of restoring power to all customers who could receive it by 6 p.m.

"I completely understand how frustrating that is to not have power for two days," Horvath said. "We're working as hard as we can, and these last ones are really hard. It just takes time to replace a pole. On average it takes about an hour to two hours of time."

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As of Sunday evening, Xcel's outage map reported fewer than 200 customers without power in the metro area.

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