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In wake of Wednesday's windstorm, officials in Costilla County say it could take days to restore power

Power outage for days in Costilla County after windstorm_Dec 15 2021_San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative
Posted at 5:38 AM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 19:58:03-05

COSTILLA COUNTY, Colo. — Officials in Costilla County have told residents to prepare for a long-term power outage following Wednesday's strong windstorm that could stretch into next week.

As of Wednesday at 4:45 p.m., 275 customers were without power, according to San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative (REC). Its outage map Thursday evening indicated that 444 customers did not have power. The company said its crews are working to restore power as soon as possible after the hurricane-force winds ripped through the San Luis Valley.

READ MORE: See the highest wind gusts recorded during Colorado's Wednesday wind storm

However, REC said its customers currently without power should be ready for a "prolonged power outage" because it expects the repairs to take several days.

In tweets on Thursday afternoon, Costilla County Emergency management said the estimated time of restoration of power to all homes in the area is Dec. 20 or 2`1.

Meanwhile, residents who still do not have power and heat are being offered hotel vouchers at the San Luis Inn, county emergency management said. People have to complete a self-certification form at the hotel.

Emergency management also made a water buffalo available for people who needed drinking water on Thursday. The Red Cross shelter at the Fort Garland Community Center lcosed at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Electric crews from Gunnison County Electric Association, National Power Line and Tri-State will help REC with this effort and supplies. REC said the limited supplies and poles is slowing down the restoration process.

To make matters more complicated, County Road 12, which is south of County Road X, is closed due to dozens of poles down along the road, REC said.

As of Wednesday evening, REC estimated that 58 transmission poles and 70 distribution poles are down in its service area, which is mostly in Costilla County.

Most of the other power outages in the San Luis Valley have been fixed.

Residents were welcome to go to an emergency shelter at Blanca/Fort Garland Community Center (17523 US 160, Blanca) if they did not have heat.