DENVER (CBS4) – More than 400,000 Coloradans lost power during Wednesday’s blizzard, but as the power came back on for many it was crews out in the elements making sure the lights and heat could come back on.
“It’s a little challenging,” said Ty Derby, a lineman for United Power. “We know they appreciate it, and that’s why we’re out here.”
United Power serves residents in about 100 square miles including Brighton, Firestone, Fredrick, Dacono and Fort Lupton.
At times a few thousand United Power customers were without power.
“Some line slapping, car accidents hitting the pole, things of that nature,” Derby said about the issues he’d seen. “We have to keep the customers on. A lot of people are home right now, and they do not want to be in the dark, that’s pretty much why me and everyone else is out here right now.”
Derby said he came to work before dawn and was expecting a long night, constantly out in the wind and snow.
“Usually I just have a couple layers on underneath, here. I have my thermals on and my Carhart’s on, and I use the rain gear and that puts a wind barrier on me. If you keep moving that’s half the battle,” he said.
On Wednesday afternoon, in the worst of whiteout conditions Derby was in the bucket of a truck ascending high into the elements to fix fuses and check lines for power.
“I’ve been with United Power for 15 years. But this has been a pretty good storm, it keeps us going,” he said.