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Infrastructure damage less than feared

Greg Masse
Staff Writer

Infrastructure damage in Glenwood Springs from the Coal Seam fire appears to be minimal, utility companies have reported, with most utility customers back up and running by Tuesday night.

The Glenwood Springs Electric Department issued a statement Tuesday that West Glenwood would be provided with temporary or permanent electricity by the evening. It is still unclear how many homes and businesses lost power from the fire.

On Tuesday morning, Qwest officials thought as many as 200 customers had lost phone service. But by 1 p.m. the company reported that only 41 customers lost service. All were expected to get their service back by 5 p.m.

A burned telephone line was blamed for the 41 outages, said Qwest Northern Colorado district manager Edie Ortega.

Anyone who remains without service today, or for those who lost their homes, Qwest has set up call forwarding and voice messaging services.

To receive more information about these services, residents should call Qwest at 945-1324. Businesses can call (303) 787-3803.

Kinder Morgan workers had not assessed damage in the burned areas as of Tuesday afternoon. The natural gas company’s first priority, according to spokeswoman Gail Neben, is to get all meters turned back on, then to relight their customers’ pilots.

“We expect to make a first pass with every structure with a meter by Wednesday,” Neben said. “We’re concentrating our efforts with relighting. Once everyone’s lit we’ll assess damage.”

Natural gas has been kept from areas with heavy damage.

“We have isolated that area so gas won’t go into that area,” Neben said.

It is expected that most of the company’s natural gas infrastructure is unharmed, but in places where pipes come out of the ground – including meters and pipes – there could be some damage.


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