Karval, CO – It’s easy to take having electricity for granted… until you don’t have it anymore. Mountain View Electric Association, Inc. (MVEA) responded to more than 100 weather-related outages this weekend. Some outages only took a short while to repair, but the Karval area sustained serious damage, which may take until April 7 to repair.
“In the Karval area, we have an estimated 600 to 800 downed poles and approximately 40 miles of power line down,” Mike Garland, MVEA Operations Manager, said. “During the recent storm, ice built up on the lines and then high winds came through and snapped the poles and lines. We have crews working long days to restore power to the area as quickly as we can.”
Currently, MVEA has 36 linemen and four staking technicians in the Karval area working to restore power. The linemen are traveling from both the Limon and Falcon facilities. Additionally surrounding electric cooperatives are greatly helping MVEA by sending crews to assist.
“Morgan County Rural Electric Association (Fort Morgan) sent an overhead crew and Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (Fort Collins) and Southeast Colorado Power Association (La Junta) released four overhead contract crews from Foothills Energy Services, Inc. and Main Electric so they could assist us in Karval with the extended repair,” Garland said. “In situations like this, we all try to help one another, because we all want to restore our members’ power as fast as we can.”
In order to turn the power back on, MVEA ordered emergency supplies from Western United Co-op. Poles arrived on the back of semis and were placed in Karval at a staging area near the Karval Community Center. From there, crews are placing new poles and running new line. Once the line is in place, power can be restored. Once the poles have been dropped, the process of placing a new one takes about 15 minutes with an experienced crew, but the process of staking and re-stringing the poles takes a while longer. The crews are working 13 hour days, not including their drive time, to restore power to MVEA members.
At the beginning of Monday, 165 Karval meters were without power – by the end of the day some of those members had their power back on. Crews will continue to work long days until everyone in Karval has electricity. The entire project will take approximately 10 days and will cost MVEA a minimum of $2,000,000 to repair.
“We are very sympathetic to our members in Karval,” Garland said. “Luckily, many of our rural members are prepared for bad weather and all the scenarios that can come with it. They have been very understanding of the situation and supportive of our linemen.”
The last time MVEA experienced this amount of damage was 2001 when 650 poles were downed in the eastern part of the MVEA Service territory.
To view MVEA outage information, visit: http://outage.mvea.org:83/.
About Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA)
Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA), incorporated in 1941, is a not-for-profit member owned electric cooperative providing member-first electric service to over 43,000 members in a 5,000 square mile territory with over 52,000 meters and 6,000 miles of energized lines. MVEA’s headquarters is in Limon, Colorado, with an operations center located in Falcon, just east of Colorado Springs. For additional information about MVEA and the electric cooperative difference visit our website.