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Shelters Set Up For Thousands Without Heat In Boulder County

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – With single digit temperatures once again keeping things chilly on Colorado’s Front Range, power and gas problems are being reported in some areas.

On Thursday morning approximately 2,600 customers in Denver’s Park Hill and Stapleton neighborhoods lost power.

An equipment failure at a natural gas regulator station near Niwot in Boulder County also prompted Xcel Energy to shut off gas service to about 7,200 customers.

“A little disappointed to waking up to zero degrees and realizing that the gas had gone out,” Boulder County resident J.J. Harmon said.

The customers affected were in the following area, according to Xcel:

An area bounded by North 95th Street on the east, North 47th Street on the west, Niwot Road on the north and Jay Road on the south.

The equipment has been repaired but Xcel workers will have to go door to door to get the gas service restored.

“Our crews are now turning off natural gas service in customers’ home and will return to relight pilot lights on natural gas appliances. However, we anticipate it may take up to 24 hours to complete the relight process,” Mark Stutz with Xcel said in a statement.

Stutz said Boulder County is setting up warming shelters for residents who decide to leave their homes. One is located at Douglas Elementary School and the Red Cross will be on hand.

“Customers should turn on water faucets to a slow drip to help prevent frozen water pipes and ensure the water is draining,” Stutz said.

Xcel spokesman Gabriel Romero said the company admits the timing couldn’t be worse for the equipment failure.

“We’re sensitive to the fact that it’s very cold, and so we have every gas person available out there now,” Romero said.

Xcel said they have also hired other utilities to help with the process.

Additional Resources

Xcel Energy also released the following information:

As an important safety reminder, if customers detect a sulfur or rotten egg smell in their home, it could be the odorant that we put in natural gas to help detect leaks. If customers notice that smell, they should leave their homes immediately and not turn any electrical devices on or off, use a garage door opener, and or any phone until they are outside and away from the home; then call us at 1-800-895-2999 or call 911.

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