By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – Spring snowstorms are nothing unusual in Colorado, but parts of the state may see record-breaking accumulation over the weekend. Pantries are stocked and homeowners are prepared for the dreaded snow shoveling, but some residents are doing last-minute landscaping to prepare for whatever may come.

(credit: CBS)

“I know it’s kind of late, but we didn’t really have a more accurate forecast until two days ago,” said Cher Chan, a real estate broker and property manager in the Denver metro area.

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Chan wasn’t the only person calling tree services days before the upcoming storm. The company Chan hired for the property she manages told her they’ve been busy.

“One tree hung over the tool shed quite a lot. There’s also one on the side that’s lower hanging over the fence, so we needed to get it taken care of. We assume the snow is going to be wet and heavy. If the branch collapses, it’s going to damage the roof and the fence. Plus, we’re afraid that it could hurt pedestrians,” said Chan.

In addition to property damage, spring snowstorms can often wreak havoc on power lines.

“We’re currently monitoring this storm and preparing our crews to handle potential outages due to heavy snowfall and ice,” said Mark Newby, control center and trouble operations director Xcel Energy Colorado.

(credit: CBS)

Xcel says the forecasted amount of snow could affect road conditions and how quickly crews can respond. The company says it has an experienced crew that is well versed in quickly and safely restoring power in the most extreme conditions.

“We have reminded all of our folks how to get their chains on to make sure that they’re solid and ready to go,” said Kelly Flenniken, Director of Community Relations at Xcel Energy.

Flenniken says rolling outages are not expected. Xcel has 600 employees on standby for potential damage. Xcel Energy says its electric and natural gas systems are expected to perform as usual. If gas lines are impacted, customers can help reduce the risk of danger.

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“The main thing we want our customers to know is that it’s important to keep snow and ice off of your gas meters, so it’s as safe as it can be, both for the customer and for crews if they need to do some restoration. They need to be able to see it and access it,” said Flenniken.

Keeping meters clear of snow is a tip Chan has already given her tenants. After you’re done shoveling the sidewalk, she says check the accumulation in your backyard.

(credit: CBS)

“One year, the snow started to melt and the water came in from the patio door. Make sure you shovel the snow every once and a while so that it doesn’t accumulate too high,” said Chan. “You would never expect water to come in from the patio door.”

Xcel Energy customers can report outages online at xcelenergy.com/out or text ‘OUT’ to 98936.

Customers can also call 1-800-895-1999 to report outages.

Once the cause of the problem is identified, the system or an Xcel Energy representative will provide customers with an estimated restoration time.

Customers are always encouraged to monitor their heat and electricity use and any conservation efforts will help lower their energy bills.

Xcel has offered tips for customers to conserve energy:

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• If your home uses heat, adjust your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower.
• Open drapes and blinds to maximize heat from direct sunlight.
• Run ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to push warm air down from the ceiling, adding comfort and savings.
• Keep interior doors open to help circulate air more freely and maintain constant heating levels.
• Operate energy-intensive appliances, such as electric space heaters, water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, during early morning and late evening hours.
• Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes.

Tori Mason