Cold causing utilities problems

The Gazette - Updated: December 7, 2013 at 7:35 pm • Published: December 7, 2013 | 7:05 pm 0

By the time the Festival of Lights Parade was about to begin in downtown Colorado Springs at 5:50 p.m. Saturday, it was 3 degrees outside.

Overnight temperatures in the city were expected to dip to 4 dgrees below zero, as the single-digit cold snap that has gripped the entire region for days continued.

There were many reports of traffic wrecks and bursting water pipes. The cold weather generally slowed activity of all kinds.

The Denver Post reported that Xcel Energy crews awere trying to restore natural gas service to thousands of customers in the Niwot area.

Company spokesman Mark Stutz says an equipment failure at a regulator station early Friday morning knocked out power to 7,200 customers in Niwot and unincorporated Boulder County. Crews hope to have service restored to the majority of customers by early Saturday evening.

Stutz says the equipment was repaired Friday afternoon, but crews must go door-to-door to restart customers' pilot lights. The Red Cross has opened a warming shelter at Douglass Elementary School in Boulder.

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