DENVER
10/27/2011 10:11 am ET Updated Dec 27, 2011

Colo. Snow Storm Leaves Downed Trees, Thousands Without Power (UPDATE)

The first snow storm of the season, dumping a foot and a half of snow across the state, has also left nearly 60,000 people still without power Thursday morning after the heavy, wet snow snapped tree branches and downed power lines all along the Front Range, according to the Coloradoan. Xcel crews have been working around the clock to repair the storm damage that left nearly 200,000 homes without power during this week's storm.

UPDATE:

By Associated Press

DENVER (AP) -- About 9,000 homes and businesses along Colorado's Front Range are still without power after a fall snowstorm that downed trees and power lines.

The outages are in metro Denver and Boulder and in Greeley, Fort Collins and Loveland to the north.

Most of the outages are in areas covered by Xcel Energy, the state's largest utility. Xcel says it hopes to cut the outages to about 1,500 by Saturday.

In Loveland, the municipally owned utility said service had been restored to all but two dozen customers Friday afternoon. Longmont had about 150 customers without power.

The storm that began Tuesday and continued Wednesday brought about 6 inches of snow to Denver and about a foot to Greeley. The snow initially knocked out power to more than 200,000 homes and businesses.

Xcel hoped that most of its customers would have their power restored by mid-day Thursday, 9News reported, but the task has proved difficult. The state's largest power company brought in additional crews from the western slope, Texas and New Mexico to help with all the repairs.

The American Red Cross left several shelters open Thursday night in Greeley, Windsor, Longmont and Loveland for people who could not heat their homes due to the continued power outage, according to The Denver Post.

As of Friday morning, most of the schools that had been closed Thursday are now open again with exception to Big Thompson Elementary in Loveland, which remained closed due to continued power outages.

EARLIER:

9News reports that as of Wednesday night, around 25,000 power outages remained in Denver, 14,000 in Greeley, 10,000 in Boulder and 2,000 in Loveland. It's an improvement from the peak of the outages Wednesday afternoon which left more than 140,000 Xcel customers without power from as north as Fort Collins to the south end of the Denver Metro area.

Several schools had closed entirely Thursday due to power outages, according to Fox31, including:

  • Berthoud Elementary
  • Big Thompson Elementary
  • Carrie Martin Elementary
  • Central Elementary (St. Vrain District)
  • Hygiene Elementary (St. Vrain District)
  • Skyview Elementary (Thompson School District)
  • Thompson Elementary
  • Turner Middle School
  • Windsor High School

On Thursday, Greeley's Aims Community College plans to open back up at 10 a.m., Colorado Technical University plans to open at noon, and at Colorado State some classes remain canceled near Oval.

At the Occupy Denver encampment downtown, The Denver Post reports that despite the falling snow and freezing temperatures, around 100 protesters gathered last night, staying warm with thick coats and hats.

Clear skies are in the forecast for the rest of Thursday with temperatures coming back up to the mid- to upper-50s by the weekend.