Heavy snow and cold temperatures are an unavoidable part of spring in Colorado. Though IREA works to mitigate and quickly respond to them, outages caused by spring weather also are sometimes unavoidable.

The impacts of wind, snow and ice on trees and wires are to blame for most outages this time of year. We maintain an aggressive vegetation management program through which tree hazards we can identify are addressed. We also continually invest in improvements to harden our system. But winter and spring storms will inevitably cause problems somewhere on the 6,500 miles of overhead lines in our 5,000-square-mile service territory.

Customers served by overhead lines can prepare for and endure service interruptions by taking all or some of these steps:

• Always keep a battery-powered radio or TV, flashlights and a supply of fresh batteries. You should also have water, blankets and non-perishable food.

• Consider purchasing a generator if you want to ensure you have an alternate source of power for needed devices and appliances. Always follow the guidelines for safe generator use, though, including keeping it outdoors and away from windows.

• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to preserve cold food. Opening them releases the cold air within and raises the temperature.

• Never use a gas stove to provide heat.

• If you experience an extended interruption of service, keep faucets turned on slightly so that water drips from the tap. This will help prevent freezing of water in pipes.

Online Outage Center
Don’t be completely in the dark when outages hit. Use IREA’s online Outage Center to report and monitor service interruptions. Available via www.IREA.coop/outage-center, our Outage Center allows users to view real-time, detailed maps of areas experiencing outages, estimated time of restoration and the number of customers affected by each outage. Customers also can sign up for text-based outage alerts. Once enrolled, you will receive outage alerts via text message and will be able to report outages via text.