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Xcel Energy Enforces Precautionary Power Shutoffs Due to High Winds in Colorado



Amid forecasted high wind conditions in Colorado, Xcel Energy has opted to implement precautionary power shutoffs to mitigate the risk of wildfires. Starting on Saturday at 3 p.m. MT, certain areas will experience de-energized power lines extending into Sunday. This measure is crucial in reducing fire hazards and ensuring public safety.

Approximately 55,000 Xcel Energy customers might be impacted, mainly in Boulder County with additional sections in Gilpin, Jefferson, Larimer, Douglas, and Broomfield Counties, as well as the West Denver Metro area along the foothills. While extreme winds may lead to outages, not all outages necessarily result from proactive de-energization.

The planned power shutoffs affect customers in northwest Fort Collins, Laporte, and beyond due to the heightened fire danger associated with wind gusts of up to 100 mph expected in Colorado on Saturday. Poudre Fire Authority has issued notifications regarding the power outages, which could persist until at least noon on Sunday.

Amidst the escalating winds and road closures, Xcel Energy responded to queries about the shutoff areas with a released map illustrating affected regions west and northwest of Fort Collins, areas west of Loveland, zones in and around Boulder, and east of Boulder. With over 10,000 electricity customers experiencing outages in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and surrounding areas, Xcel Energy and Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association are actively managing the disruptions.

Reports have shown significant wind speeds as high as 85 mph north of Fort Collins, with closures impacting both directions of I-25 between Wellington and the Wyoming state line. The scope of the outages is extensive, with around 7,500 Xcel Energy customers and approximately 3,000 Poudre Valley REA customers without power.

The National Weather Service in Boulder has issued high wind warnings for the region, forecasting gusts up to 100 mph, increasing the risk of wildfires. In response, Xcel Energy notified customers in various Colorado counties about potential power cuts commencing Saturday afternoon into Sunday.

This proactive approach is geared towards safeguarding communities, customers, and utility crews amid elevated winds and wildfire threats. Power restoration will be contingent on the subsiding fire risks and thorough visual inspections of the affected power lines.null

Rachel Adams

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