Colorado Springs Utilities provides update on downtown fire as they make progress toward restoring power

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Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 11:13 PM MDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 4:58 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - After another day without power for many apartments and businesses, crews with Colorado Springs Utilities continue to make progress to restoring power for more people.

The power outage was caused by an electrical failure that resulted in a fire underground in downtown Colorado Springs on Monday. CSU said it was from a transformer experiencing equipment failure.

On Tuesday, officials weren’t able to say what caused the failure, but they did tell 11 News it wasn’t because of the transformer itself. The transformer was installed in the 1980s, and CSU said it is routinely checked to make sure it is running smoothly. They said they will continue to investigate to figure out what happened and how to avoid it in the future. In the meantime, though, they said their priority is to repair the system and restore power to everyone in the area.

As crews worked Tuesday, they were able to restore power to all traffic signals downtown and all but 10 meters in the area; however, anyone along Kiowa might have to wait a little longer.

“The customers that are closest to that area,” said Christian Nelson with Colorado Springs Utilities, “they’ll be brought back pending further repairs.”

Residents of a nearby apartment complex said they were told to prepare for up to a week without power.

Pikes Peak United Way, a local nonprofit, said they are offering resources to anyone who needs them. While they said no one has called as of Tuesday, they are ready to help if anyone does. They recommend anyone who might be out of a home or out of a job call 211 for referrals for food or shelter services.

For businesses, El Paso County Public Health is working to help them keep their stock safe, if they sell food, and recoup their losses.

The county told 11 News they have been working with impacted restaurants to make sure they are able to keep their food safe. This means helping them find solutions to move food to a functioning cooler or helping educate them on proper generator use and allowing a generator on site.

Before these restaurants open, El Paso County said they will be doing re-inspections to make sure their freezers and coolers are working and all food is safe for consumption.