Co-ops report most flood repairs completed

It has been more than four months since Colorado’s Front Range, mountain areas and the eastern plains were inundated by flood waters that claimed 10 lives, destroyed nearly 1,900 homes and caused havoc to the state’s infrastructure, including washed out roads, bridges and power supply equipment operated by at least three of Tri-State’s member systems.

The northern Colorado town of Kersey was awash after the South Platte River left its banks.

The northern Colorado town of Kersey was awash after the South Platte River left its banks.

According to member services personnel at United Power (Brighton, Colo.), Poudre Valley REA  (Fort Collins, Colo.) and Morgan County REA (Fort Morgan, Colo.), most of the restoration activities on their systems have been completed with some permanent fixes awaiting road repairs and other infrastructure projects.

By far, the hardest hit member system was United Power, which had more than 4,000 member consumers without power during the height of the storm, which began on Sept. 9, 2013 and lasted for nearly a week.  “Last fall we still had portions of our electric system configured to provide back-up power while road repairs were completed,” said Laurel Eller, communications specialist at United Power.  “Recently, we were able to complete equipment repairs and return the system configuration to its normal status, however, we still have some underground cable to repair in the Del Camino area,” she noted.

Colorado Rd. 13 in United Power’s service territory was impassable for several weeks after the flooding occurred.

Colorado Rd. 13 in United Power’s service territory was impassable for several weeks after the flooding occurred.

Earlier this month, Poudre Valley REA was able to restore power to their last housing development impacted by the floods.  “We recently restored power to the Button Rock neighborhood above the town of Lyons, where we didn’t have road access until recently,” said David White, member services manager for Poudre Valley REA.

“All the power was back on within a day after the flooding, “said Geoff Baumgartner with Morgan County REA. “But, we do have some underground cable that will require replacement this spring,” he said. The eastern Colorado co-op was the least impacted by the flood, with only about 20 consumers without service during the deluge.

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