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Boulder County Residents Spend Night Without Heat

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

GUNBARREL, Colo. (CBS4) – More than 7,000 people in Boulder County had to spend the night without heat on Friday.

“The timing couldn’t be worse but obviously we’re sensitive to the fact that it’s very cold,” said Gabriel Romero from Xcel Energy.

Early Friday morning Xcel Energy shut off natural gas services to 7,200 customers because of equipment failure.

“I’m a little disappointed waking up to zero degrees and realizing that the gas had gone out because of a mistake that the company made,” said customer JJ Harman.

Xcel says that about 4,000 people were also without power for a little more than an hour.

“We haven’t really figured out exactly why the equipment failed yet. That’s something that we’re working on now. But certainly, the cold is going to contribute to those kinds of things,” said Romero.

Energy crews worked around the clock to manually turn off all meters and then restore service to each home one by one.

Additional crews from surrounding states are coming in to help as it could take at least 24 hours to complete.

“I understand their need for control and the liability, but this could take a very long time, and there’s also the problem of people’s homes and the pipes freezing,” said customer Greg Lim.

“Unlike electricity where you can essentially just turn it back on, natural gas, because of the pressure issue, takes a little more time,” said Romero.

Xcel Energy said that that power outage is not related to the natural gas outage

They still don’t know the cause of the outage, but they are hoping to have 90 percent of their customers have their natural gas service restored by midday Saturday.

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