By Indiana Reed
At this writing, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) is still predicting and/or working on 16 outages, affecting 123 customers, scattered throughout its service territory – though numbers are decreasing steadily. LPEA had up to 12 different crews working throughout the region today to restore power outages caused by the wet winter storm, and fresh crews will come on this evening to work until all power is restored.
Outages began affecting the electrical system in late morning today, as increasing wet snow accumulated on LPEA’s equipment. LPEA’s distribution system will always err on the side of safety and open the circuits (cut power) if it senses any interference on the lines. The lines will not be re-energized in these situations until the equipment is inspected and/or repairs made. The heavy snow raised the caution level significantly throughout the day.
At the height of the “melt” of the wet snow, LPEA’s Outage Management System (OMS) registered 60 individual outages, with nearly 2,000 members out of power throughout La Plata and Archuleta counties. All outages have been snow-load related, and as of this writing, no outages have been caused by vehicular collisions.
As temperatures drop through the night, the “weight” of any snow remaining on LPEA’s lines will decrease, and facilitate power restoration, but hope is for all affected by this current storm to be back in power within the next few hours (barring discovery of any significant damage).
More information will be disseminated as it becomes available.