(Fort Collins, CO) – Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (PVREA) is preparing for a Winter Storm Warning for the mountains and northern front range and foothills. According to the National Weather Service, heavy snow is expected in these areas. The storm warning is in effect Wednesday night through 6 p.m.
All PVREA crews and vehicles are on standby and will be ready to be dispatched to restore power if outages occur.
“Spring snowstorms often bring heavy, wet snow that can accumulate on our equipment and cause outages. Springs snows also weigh heavily on tree branches, causing them to weigh into power lines and cause an outage. We have our line crews and staff on alert and are ready to deploy in the event of any power outages,” PVREA Member Relations Manager David White said.
With heavy snow accumulation predicted, PVREA urges members to be prepared for potential power outages, especially in higher elevations the Cooperative serves. Members should prepare their homes for a power outage - keep a fully charged cell phone, stay inside and dress warm. In the event of an outage, close off unneeded rooms to stay warm if an outage lasts several hours.
Heavy snow accumulation can oftentimes cause power lines to come down, creating a hazardous situation. Travelers should also be warned should they come into contact with a power pole in an accident, a power line can come down. Any downed power lines should be assumed energized and extremely dangerous. Stay away from downed wires or damaged electric equipment. Touching energized wires can lead to injuries and death. If you see downed wires, call PVREA or local law enforcement immediately. If there is a downed power line on or near your vehicle, stay in the vehicle until help arrives.
During an outage PVREA crews work to restore power to the largest number of people first. After transmission and distribution lines are fixed, the Co-op’s crews then fix problems in smaller neighborhoods or problems at individual homes. When there are issues with transmission lines, the co-op’s outage management system also allows engineers to redirect electricity or “back-feed” from other substations to get the lights back on faster.
During outage situations, PVREA members can stay updated by visiting the Cooperative’s Facebook and Twitter pages and website. Outages should be reported by calling the Cooperative at 1-800-432-1012 or through their online account. Additional safety information and storm preparation can be found on the Cooperative’s website at www.pvrea.com.