Wind may be culprit of outage |

Wind may be culprit of outage

— The fireworks show above Howelsen Hill lit up the sky over Steamboat Springs on Tuesday night. Then, the lights went out.

Technicians were at the Steamboat Springs Substation on Wednesday to determine the cause of a widespread power outage shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Nearly 13,500 customers were without power when Xcel Energy, Yampa Valley Electric Association’s power supplier, experienced an outage to its dual 230 kilovolt lines that feed the station.

“Xcel had told us that it’s a wind-related cause,” YVEA spokesman Jim Chappel said. “Yampa Valley Electric wants to verify the report.”

In addition to weather, technicians also are investigating whether a faulty electric relay may have caused the outage.

Chappel said this is the first time such an outage has occurred since the second feed was installed at the Steamboat station last year.

The outage lasted about six minutes for customers fed out of the Brooklyn and Mount Werner substations and about 17 minutes for customers fed out of the Airport and Clark substations.

Traffic along Lincoln Ave-

nue after the fireworks had died down by the time the city went black at 11:04 p.m. Traffic lights were not functioning.

Steamboat Springs Police Capt. Joel Rae said he was not aware of any incidents related to the outage, but many people called 911 to report the outage.

“911 is for emergencies,” Rae said. “Not for when your power goes out.”

— To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210

or e-mail

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