Some of El Jebel without power, outage threat uncertain for upper valley | AspenTimes.com

Some of El Jebel without power, outage threat uncertain for upper valley

Staff report

Residents in the El Jebel Mobile Home Park and the area near the Tree Farm are without power due to the Lake Christine Fire, Holy Cross Energy said in a Facebook post shortly after 9 a.m. today.

About 130 customers of Holy Cross are affected.

"We believe there has been fire damage to some of our structures there, but it is still too unsafe to investigate so that is not confirmed," Holy Cross said.

At a community meeting held at Basalt High School just after 6 p.m. Thursday, Holy Cross energy officials confirmed that transmission lines were damaged, but the threat of damage to the remaining line is low.

"The fire originated in an area where we had two significant transmission and distribution facilities that receive electricity from surrounding area via four different transmission lines," Holy Cross Energy CEO Bryan Hannigan said. "Three of those transmission lines are currently out of service."

From Basalt upvalley to Aspen, Holy Cross is serving all of the electrical needs with one transmission line.

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"Obviously, if that remaining transmission line is affected, then our ability to keep the lights on in this area is compromised," Hannigan said. "Based on the current movement and action of the fire and the intrinsic qualities of that transmission line, we think the possibility of damage to that line is rather low."

Holy Cross crews are prepared to repair the three lines as soon as it is safe to do so, which is a decision they will make with input from fire authorities.