Animal caused Hayden power outage

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— An animal that found its way into the Yampa Valley Electric Association's substation in Hayden caused a power outage Tuesday morning that lasted more than two hours and left two neighborhoods without water.

YVEA spokesman Jim Chappell said the company started receiving calls about the power outage at 7:10 a.m. Workers arrived at the substation at 7:50 a.m.

"They realized an animal had gotten into the substation and crawled up on top of a transformer and decided to electrocute himself," Chappell said.

The type of animal is unknown; Chappell said it was unrecognizable.

A piece of equipment that was damaged as a result of the incident was replaced with a spare piece from Craig, and power was restored at 9:57 a.m., Chappell said. He estimated 1,250 customers had been left without power.

Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin said the Golden Meadows and Sagewood subdivisions also lost water service during the outage because the town's Golden Meadows pump station does not have a backup generator. City staff began flushing the water lines and restoring pressure to the system once power was restored.

Martin said the system could handle short power outages, but not longer ones. He said the town is working on getting a new water tank in a couple of years that would solve the problem and possibly eliminate the need for the Golden Meadows pump station altogether.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

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