After week of power outages amid record heat, some Colorado families forced to evacuate their homes – CBS Denver
WINDSOR, Colorado (CBS4) – Residents in the steadily growing parts of northern Colorado, Timnath and Windsor, say they experienced power outages daily for a week. The outages, some of which lasted more than 22 hours, came as Colorado set several records for high temperatures.
“It was horrible,” said Sara Ricord, a new resident of north Windsor.
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The neighborhoods that experience daily Xcel Energy outages are those that have developed over the past eight years. Most of the homes without electricity were built in the past 18 months.
Xcel Energy confirmed that 4,342 customers were without power throughout the week of the blackouts. Xcel said it set a new all-time high for peak power demand on the electrical system on Tuesday when Denver hit 101 degrees.
“It has been incredibly frustrating. Incredibly frustrating, ”said resident Bernadette Pivarunas. “It wasn’t the week. Two or three days in a row, it was over 100 degrees, it was a heatwave.
Pivarunas, a developmental psychologist, said she had had to cancel several virtual appointments with patients due to the outages. His house has climbed almost 90 degrees indoors on several occasions.
“The heat was brutal,” Pivarunas said. “Everything, stove, water, cell phone, Netflix and Hulu. Everything is gone.
She ended up buying an expensive generator to power her basic needs. The generator weighed hundreds of pounds. By the time she assembled it and turned it on, it was late at night. When she turned it on, the generator was very loud. To respect her neighbors who slept with the windows open, she only ran the generator for 45 minutes a night.
Ricord, the mother of three with autism, said the problem had grown from an inconvenience to a threat to her family’s health.
“Having three children with special needs without electricity has been extremely damaging to our lives,” Ricord told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “My son is on oxygen and on a feeding tube. And, not having access to electricity prevented his medical treatment.
Ricord, a single mother, finally took her children to a hotel with reliable electricity. After this became expensive, she moved her family to Vail where they could stay with the father of her children.
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Ricord said she had no other option. Her son’s body temperature skyrocketed as it was hot in her home.
“His body temperature hit 103, and that’s when we evacuated,” Ricord said.
Several families have moved into caravans set up outside their homes with generators plugged in to keep the smaller space cooler. Others had to throw away hundreds of dollars in food after refrigerators and freezers damaged food.
Xcel Energy sent CBS4 the following statement:
“We understand the inconvenience and frustration our customers experience and reassure them that our teams are doing everything possible to resolve power failure issues. Our teams worked throughout the week to investigate the cause of the outages in the Windsor and Timnath area while working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power.
“We believe the cause of the equipment failure, due in part to the intense heat and storms, has been identified and repaired. About 4,342 customers in northern Colorado were affected by the outages.
Some residents blamed the City of Windsor and the City of Timnath for failing to prepare the power grid for the influx of residents before granting building permits.
“I don’t feel at all safe with (my kids) being here,” Ricord said. “We ended up in a half a million dollar house with the reliability of electricity from a third world country. And this is unacceptable. “
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It’s been 15 years since the Denver metro area has experienced such warm temperatures so early in the summer season.