Vehicular accident damages power pole in Steamboat, triggers power outage | SteamboatToday.com

Vehicular accident damages power pole in Steamboat, triggers power outage

Traffic on Howelsen Hill Parkway near Fifth Street was detoured through the rodeo grounds in Steamboat Springs Wednesday morning, as crews from Yampa Valley Electric Association continued with repair work on a power pole damaged in a vehicular accident shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Yampa Valley Electric Association confirmed Wednesday that a vehicular accident Tuesday night caused power outages overnight in downtown Steamboat Springs.

YVEA's Tammi Strickland said Routt County notified YVEA of the situation at 10:49 p.m. Tuesday night after a car collided with a power pole on Howelsen Parkway. Crews responded and "took an emergency outage" in order to protect public safety while they repaired the broken pole.

"We experienced an outage last night when a pole was hit by a car that damaged our Brooklyn substation, which supplies power to downtown Steamboat," Strickland wrote in a news release Wednesday.  "Crews worked to isolate and back-feed the area, and power was restored at 2:59 a.m.  A piece of equipment at the substation was also compromised due to the accident and caused another power failure at 3:36 a.m."

The second outage was also isolated and power was restored quickly.

YVEA crews utilizing multiple lift trucks were continuing to work on the power pole at the intersection of Howelsen Parkway and Fifth Street during the morning rush hour Wednesday. Traffic was being detoured through the rodeo grounds parking lot.

"YVEA crews were working (Wednesday) to complete the repair and replace the equipment that was damaged and hoped to have everything completed by afternoon," Strickland said.

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Motorists in Steamboat reported the outage may have disrupted the synchronization of stoplights between Third and 13th streets on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs, causing drivers to wait through successive red lights.

Colorado Department of Transportation spokesperson Tracy Trulove said power outages should not disrupt traffic lights as they are all equipped with battery backups. In addition, a CDOT traffic electricians is able to monitor the functionality of all of the stoplights here remotely.

"Our electrician said there shouldn't be a change in the way (the lights ) are synched," Trulove said. "But he'll look into it."

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1