Weekend power outage halts business in Fraser Valley
Power went out Saturday night for over 7,000 Mountain Parks Electric customers due to a mechanical failure, according to Mountain Parks Electric, Inc.
Starting around 8:40 p.m. Nov. 10, 7,110 services were down for about two hours while a Mountain Parks Electric crew attempted to fix the mechanical failure. Power was restored around 10:45 p.m.
The outage extended from Red Dirt Hill to Winter Park Resort, but did not affect all of the customers in that area. Customers were notified of the outage via a Facebook post and some callbacks.
“It wasn’t a total blackout of the Fraser Valley, but it was a large piece of it,” said Tom Sifers, general manager of Mountain Parks Electric, Grand County’s sole electric utility provider.
Currently, customers can report outages through a 24-hour phone line.
Sifers said there is no personnel assigned to be publicly available during after-hour outages because “the first priority we have is restoring the power and that would require someone being on-call and typically the people who would handle the communications end of it aren’t on that type of call.”
He said Mountain Parks Electric is working on improving their technology so that they can send notifications in the future regarding outages.
Fraser-Winter Park Police Chief Glen Trainor said no accidents were reported to police during the outage, but police were called to a store in Fraser for doors being left open. No evidence of a crime was found.
Trainor also said there were a number of businesses that had to close during the outage.
One such business, McDonald’s in Winter Park, closed its doors for the duration of the outage citing safety precautions. They were able to reopen when the power came back on.
“We couldn’t open until it came back and then we were fully operational,” said McDonald’s general manager Daniel Kruv. “It came back almost at 11 (p.m.) so there was no time to get everything back on track, so we were only open maybe 20 or 30 minutes.”
Residents took to Facebook to share their experiences without power or heat for the brief period of time, including those who were excited about the chance to stargaze or use their oil lamps.
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