Planned power outage allows for feeder switch, leaves south downtown in the dark

With the lights still on and working, a pair of Grand Junction police officers head toward the intersection of 5th Street and Ute Avenue to direct traffic during a scheduled power outage Monday to repair a failed line.

Despite a two-hour planned power outage in downtown Grand Junction on Monday night, the C & F Food Store at 859 Pitkin Ave. kept its doors open as customers trickled inside, said Anna, a clerk.

“We didn’t have any problems,” she said, though the convenience store was not able to sell fuel.

About 144 Xcel Energy customers in the southern section of downtown lost power between about 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. as staff worked to upgrade an electrical feeder. The city of Grand Junction sent out a reverse 911 call to warn customers of the outage. Officers with the Grand Junction Police Department directed traffic through dark intersections on Ute and Pitkin avenues.

A generator at Mesa County’s Alternative Sentencing Unit kept lights on at the facility’s dayroom. Food for clients’ dinner was kept warm on a gas stove, said spokeswoman Heather Benjamin of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department. Extra deputies were called to staff the facility and authorities there conducted a head count to determine whether anyone left. No one was missing, Benjamin said.

The Grand Junction Regional Communication Center also operated by using a generator, and no glitches in communication were reported.

Xcel Energy spokesman Fred Eggleston said the failing feeder needed to be changed before it lost power. The change allows the new system to carry 13,500 volts — up from the former 4,000 volts.

“It will give us better reliability to switch loads around,” he said.


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