For immediate release:
4:00 p.m. – Thursday, December 16, 2021
About 260 San Isabel Electric members will be without power for a second night in a row due to widespread damage from Wednesday’s windstorm.
Members who are expected to experience prolonged outages into the late evening or overnight, are being notified by phone and by email, if they have an email address on file.
Costilla County is offering hotel vouchers to Costilla County residents without access to heat or with any other special needs. Vouchers are available at the San Luis Inn, 224 Main Street. Completion of a self-certification form, available at the hotel, is required for the voucher. Pets are not allowed at the hotel. If your home has running water, but is without heat, please leave your faucets dripping to prevent the pipes from freezing. Water is available at The Depot in New San Acacio from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for people to collect water for drinking or other household needs. The Red Cross shelter at the Blanca/Fort Garland Community Center closed at 4:00 p.m. on December 16. Costilla County residents needing assistance are asked to please call or text 719-501-3236.
Huerfano County residents in need of assistance are asked to please call 719-738-1044
SIEA crews were able to restore power to about 350 members Thursday.
Currently, there are about 260 meters without power. Here is a breakdown of how many meters are out in each of the seven counties SIEA serves:
- Custer 0
- Costilla 100
- Fremont 0
- Huerfano 150
- Las Animas 10
All available San Isabel Electric and contractor crews are working on repairing damage and restoring outages.
Most damage was caused by lines blowing off the poles, lines snapping in half, trees in lines, and poles breaking. Much of the damaged equipment is not accessible by roads due to the remote rural areas we serve. Many of the roads to these remote areas are not accessible because of downed trees.
Outages are taking longer than usual to restore due to the high fire danger as well. All lines must be patrolled to ensure all of damage has been identified before attempting to restore power.
In advance of the storm, SIEA put all equipment into fire protection mode, to help cut down on the risks of starting a wildfire from sparks or arcs caused by trees or other debris making contact with equipment.
Always assume a downed powerline is deadly. Overhead power lines carry thousands of volts of electricity. If a line is down, always assume it is energized and dangerous, even if the power is out in your area. Touching or getting near a live power line injures and kills.
Never approach an accident scene where a line is down or damaged. If you run toward the accident to help, you too could become a victim by entering the energized area.
More information about powerline safety is available at siea.com/safety.
San Isabel Electric’s outage restoration policy is to make repairs that will restore service to the most people in the least amount of time. Transmission lines and substations are repaired first, followed by distribution lines that feed neighborhoods. Tap lines and individual service lines are then repaired to restore power to customers who may still be without electricity.
San Isabel Electric is a cooperative utility, owned by a group of member-owners, that together provide electricity in remote, rural areas where larger, investor-owned utilities don’t find it profitable enough to serve.
From our office staff to those out in the field, we appreciate your patience as we work to restore power as quickly as safely possible for everyone involved.
As a not-for-profit cooperative utility, San Isabel Electric provides affordable, reliable electricity with exceptional service to communities throughout southern Colorado. Serving 20,000 Member-owners and 24,000 meters, San Isabel Electric has been keeping the lights on since 1938. We don’t just serve communities. We are part of communities.