Steamboat Springs Oak Creek workers still are calculating the costs of the new transformer and 14 hours of work after authorities said a driver smashed into a light pole Tuesday night.
Oak Creek Public Works Director Bob Redding said it was lucky that he had a spare transformer available that night or five locations, including Soroco High School, would have been out of power well into Wednesday.
“I happened to have one backup down at the plant,” Redding said. “It’s not the right size, but it will get us by until I get another one ordered.”
Daniel Raymond Story, a 33-year-old Oak Creek resident, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, DUI per se, careless driving and child abuse. Police said he ran his SUV into the pole on Grant Avenue at about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Lance Dunaway, Oak Creek Police Department chief administrative officer, said the child abuse charge is “standard procedure” when a person charged with DUI has a juvenile in the car, which was the case with Story.
Redding said he placed the order for the new transformer, but it will take about two weeks to arrive. The smaller replacement will work until that time. The new transformer cost a couple of thousand dollars, he said. Redding said he wasn’t sure how many houses were affected by the outage overall, but five buildings — four houses and the school — were attached to the transformer that fell to the ground.
Redding had the transformer in storage as part of an effort to stockpile necessary repair equipment, he said. He said the town called out the contracted emergency worker from Craig and his crew of three who worked with Redding to get the lines cleared and power restored.
“It was a mess of spaghetti, basically,” Redding said. “That’s a lot of what took us so long. There was one phase of power still live going into the ones that were down.”
Story bonded out of the Routt County Jail on a personal recognizance bond Wednesday. A phone number for him could not be located Friday.