Editor's note: On March 15, we published an update about power outages due to the bomb cyclone. For more information, click "More Than 28,000 in Denver Still Without Power Two Days After Bomb Cyclone." Continue for our previous coverage.
The much-hyped bomb cyclone that hit Denver yesterday, March 13, packed a considerable punch, and it proved deadly for Colorado State Patrol Corporal Daniel Groves, who was struck and killed on I-76 while helping a motorist just after 11 a.m. Governor Jared Polis has ordered flags statewide to be flown at half-staff in Groves's honor until after his thus-far unscheduled memorial service.
The snow totals recorded by the National Weather Service don't compare to those posted during most of the entries on our list of Denver's ten most spectacular snowstorms: Denver International Airport (where all six runways were closed yesterday afternoon; four have reopened, but 662 flights have already been canceled) measured 7.1 inches. But high winds made driving a nightmare, particularly on the eastern side of the metro area, and roads are still closed across the plains. Those winds also caused a rash of power outages. This morning, there's still no juice at thousands of Colorado homes.
An update from Xcel Energy noted that as of 7 p.m. last night, service had been restored to approximately 235,000 customers, and efforts were being made to do likewise for another 165,000, with crews assigned to toil through the night.
"Restoring power is our main focus to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and customers — it is of paramount importance," said Xcel Energy-Colorado president Alice Jackson in a statement. "We will continue to diligently work to restore electric service throughout Colorado as quickly and as safely as possible. As we all have experienced today, this storm has brought dangerous conditions, including high winds and road closures, which have slowed restoration efforts."
To speed the company toward this goal, around 150 Xcel Energy employees working for the firm in states to Colorado's north are being transported here and should be on the job today.
In the meantime, though, plenty of folks in metro Denver remain without power.
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The image at the top of this post is a screen capture from Xcel's online electric-outage map, grabbed around 5:15 a.m. on the 14th. The circled numbers correspond to the number of outages in a given area, and the digits change as a user zooms in and out.
In a wider-angle view, central Denver shows a cumulative 167 outages affecting 6,233 people. Near the nexus of Interstate 25 and Interstate 70, there are 96 outages listed, impacting 3,236 people. Near Edgewater, the figures are 81 outages that are keeping 2,017 folks in the dark.
A closer look at downtown Denver, as seen in the second graphic here (it's from 5:20 a.m.), allows visitors to drill down even further into outages. For instance, there are a slew of outages in the City Park West and North Capitol Hill neighborhoods. Some affect single homes, while one has resulted in an interruption of service for 174 people. Around 105 people living near Coors Field are also energy-free according to the map, and 947 people living near Downing west of Cheesman Park are experiencing the same situation.