Switches flipped; power is shut off | VailDaily.com

Switches flipped; power is shut off

Cliff Thompson

Call it a big “Oops!”

Tuesday afternoon electrical power was interrupted to 17,628 customers from Wolcott to East Vail.

The 48 second-long outage was caused by maintenance workers at a Wolcott electrical substation who inadvertently opened some breakers while doing maintenance checks.

That means computers shut downs, servers jammed, fire alarms were triggered, cell phone service was whacked and the daily grind was briefly interrupted.

No damage was done to the substation by the outage, said Bob Gardener of Holy Cross Energy. He said subsequent maintenance will be done after the ski season winds down next month.

Gardener said Excel Energy workers, under contract with Holy Cross, were performing regularly scheduled maintenance to communications circuits at the substation when the outage occurred. Power to that substation comes from the coal-fired generating plant in Hayden in northwest Colorado.

Cliff Thompson can be reached via e-mail at: cthompson@vaildaily.com or by calling 949-0555 ext. 450.

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