Power outage in Aspen, upvalley possible because of Lake Christine Fire
Customers of Holy Cross Energy in the upper Roaring Fork Valley are faced with a worst-case scenario of losing their power for as long as 72 hours because of the Lake Christine Fire in Basalt, officials said Wednesday.
A Pitkin Alert sent out at 4:52 p.m. said, “Power to Roaring Fork Valley above Basalt is at risk due to fire. Prepare for up to 72 hours.”
As of 8:30 p.m., the power remained on in the Aspen area, but a Holy Cross spokeswoman said customers should be prepared for an outage because of structure damage to one of the power lines that serves the Basalt-to-Aspen area.
“Normally we have two lines and now we have one line,” said Jenna Weatherred of Holy Cross.
Holy Cross workers were working on repairing the damaged line. Without the second line, which remained intact, power will be lost, she said.
“There’s nothing to say we’re in danger of anything happening immediately,” she said, but noted that the failure of the second line could result in an electricity shortage of as long as three days.
The city of Aspen also has its own electrical grid that serves approximately 2,500 residents.
Commercial airlines canceled most all of their flights into and out of Aspen-Pitkin County Airport on Wednesday, but the airport remains open, director John Kinney said Wednesday. He encouraged travelers to check with their airlines before going to the airport to confirm their flight.
He said they have a response team in place should power go out in the valley, and they have backup measures in place.
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Emergency communication technicians didn’t follow protocol, causing 30 minutes of confusion for thousands of Garfield County residents.