GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Strong winds along the Front Range on Wednesday are being blamed for widespread power outages, downed power lines and downed trees.
At the height of the outages, about 17,000 Xcel Energy customers in the Golden and Lakewood areas were without power on Wednesday morning into the afternoon. As of 5 p.m. about 6,000 Xcel Energy customers remained without power.
“This is really almost like an invisible storm for Xcel Energy,” said Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz. “Primarily from Lakewood up to the Boulder area but we are seeing wind outages all over.”
Xcel Energy crews were working to replace a snapped power pole which took down the power lines at Colfax Avenue and McIntyre. It was one of 100 poles that snapped in the strong winds on Wednesday.
“What we are really seeing is downed poles, down across arms that hold the wires, in some cases equipment damage,” said Stutz.
Wind gusts of up to 80 mph were recorded in the Golden area, west of Denver.
On Wednesday morning, five large trees were toppled by those winds near Heritage Square.
PHOTO GALLERY: Strong Winds On Wednesday
One Wheat Ridge family’s patio was damaged when the winds blew their trampoline into it.
“I heard the loud wind but I didn’t know that it had done any damage,” said Wheat Ridge resident Judy.
A semi was blown over at the intersection of C-470 and Interstate 70 about 7:30 a.m. Because the semi spilled over in the shoulder, only the left lane of westbound I-70 was shut down.
On a nearby stretch of C-470 several accidents happened due to snow blowing off the hogback and onto the highway. That caused the road to ice up, in addition to creating low visibility.
It was unclear if anyone was hurt in any of the crashes.
A stretch of Colfax Avenue between I-70 and 6th Avenue was also closed Wednesday morning due to downed power lines.
Denver International Airport tweeted that the strong winds may impact flights.
Passengers were urged to check their flight status before heading to the airport.