Colorado Springs Utilities estimates wind damage costs at $1.6 million

Wind damage from last week's storm estimated to cost Colorado Springs Utilities $1.6 million / FOX21 News
Wind damage from last week's storm estimated to cost Colorado Springs Utilities $1.6 million / FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Last week’s windstorm caused significant damage in southern Colorado, making it the worst Colorado Springs Utilities has seen in 30 years.

Crews had to work 16-hour shifts to repair damages, now estimated to cost $1.6 million.

“Each day that they were out with all the crews we had, they were doing about a week’s worth of work. So, every day we were getting a week’s worth of work done on our system,” said Eric Tharp, chief energy services officer for CSU.

According to CSU, they received more than 1,700 work orders last week: 964 for power outages, more than 300 for fallen trees, and the rest pertaining to damage assessments and other outages.

“The wind varied through town, so in some parts of towns we would have to be grounded and other parts we could do some work,” said Cory Anderson, line crew supervisor for CSU.

CSU said they weren’t expecting the magnitude and duration of the storm.

“In the past, we’ve had these events where the wind might blow for four or five hours and then we could get up and start doing the repairs. In this case, it was 15 hours before we could put anybody in a bucket to actually begin the repair work,” Tharp said.

More than half of the electrical overhead system was damaged in the storm.

“We’re sending our troubleshooters back through the system. Sort of a post-event inspection. So, they’re looking at poles, and cross arms, and insulators, and other things that may have been impacted, but didn’t reach our attention during the outage,” Tharp said.

40,000 customers experienced power outages, leaving some without power for days. CSU said the most significant wind damage was south of the city.

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