Several thousand still without power Tuesday, but Xcel aims to restore service by end of day

Wind damage in Wheat Ridge from April 6 and 7, 2024 windstorm
Megan Verlee/CPR News
Heavy limbs damaged this fence in Wheat Ridge during a windstorm that started on April 6, 2024.

Updated at 12:41 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Xcel Energy reports about 7,000 customers were without power as of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Crews are disabling and reactivating equipment in the wake of a weekend windstorm that knocked out electricity for more than 155,000 customers statewide. 

"The fluctuating number is due to the storm restoration. To complete work safely, the crews may have to de-energize a section of lines, which will be reflected on the outage map as outages," said Tyler Bryant, a spokesperson for Xcel. "We are on target to complete the outages by the end of the day."

Most of the power outages stemmed from damage to lines and poles sustained over the weekend. But some customers went without electricity due to Xcel Energy’s decision on Saturday to preemptively shut off power for 55,000 customers in an effort to reduce the chances that wind-damaged power equipment might ignite fires.

It isn’t clear if the remaining outages were caused by wind damage or were part of the proactive shutoffs. The outages have caused widespread impacts along the Front Range, with homes, schools, businesses and traffic intersections losing power. 

This is the first time in Colorado that a power utility has preemptively shut off power due to wildfire risk.

While Xcel said the decision was justified given the damage sustained during the windstorm, its president admitted the company fell short on its communications following widespread frustrations among residents.