A severe winter storm in the Central Rockies beginning Wednesday morning, March 23, knocked out power to at least 174,563 customers in Colorado with impacts lingering into the afternoon, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
Additional outages are likely as the storm continues to track east over the northeast plains with expected snow accumulations up to 15 inches and wind gusts of 50 mph. Blizzard warnings are in effect for portions of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Nebraska throughout this evening, DOE noted.
As of 3:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, 150,977 customers remained without power. Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL), the hardest hit utility with 113,424 customer outages, said it had crews working to assess each situation and formulate restoration plans. “The utility said restoration estimates are not available at this time due to current road and weather conditions,” DOE said.
United Power, which reported 32,000 customer outages as of 12:10 p.m. MDT, said it anticipated a lengthy outage event due to the loss of power transmission to its system and adverse road conditions delaying restoration efforts. United Power crews also reported downed power lines due to ice build-up.