Some Evergreen residents face power outage Sunday morning

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By Pamela Lawson

Some customers of the Intermountain Rural Electric Association in Evergreen will be without power for four hours Sunday morning while IREA and Xcel Energy fix a transmission pole and line damaged by fire two weeks ago.

Another 16,000 households in the 285 Corridor also will lose power. The outage is scheduled from 6 to 10 a.m. July 20, according to IREA.

The pole is in an isolated mountain area in Ken-Caryl West Ranch that is difficult to access. The repairs will require a helicopter designed to carry heavy loads, and one was being flown in from California, said Ed Jenks, IREA operations manager.

Jenks believes it was a customer who notified authorities of the fire, and that day power companies responded and temporarily addressed equipment damage. About 15 feet of the 65-foot-tall pole was damaged.

“Our distribution line came off — what it’s from, I am not sure; whether lightning or not, I’m not sure,” Jenks said. “A good 15 feet of pole (has) almost no wood left, and the transmission (line) is above that.”

Had the fire not been reported, the impacts might have been much more severe as wind and weather hammered away at the damaged section, Jenks said.

“It’s been sitting like that, and we were all afraid the top would fall out and people would be out for days while we tried to fix this,” Jenks said.

Instead, the power companies had a chance to assemble the needed equipment and workers and to alert residents in advance of Sunday’s outage.

Affected customers have been informed of the outage via recorded phone calls.