ASPEN, Colo. – December 30, 2020 Black Hills Energy technicians worked efficiently over the past three days and have accomplished a nearly full restoration of natural gas service to customers in the City of Aspen.
As of 6 p.m., more than 97 percent of the 3,500 homes and businesses that lost service due to vandalism on the Black Hills Energy system have been restored, with less than 100 customers remaining.
All affected customers have been contacted. If service has not been reinstated yet, customers should look for a door tag asking them to call Black Hills Energy, and technicians will return to relight pilot lights and test appliances at a time someone will be available to grant access inside. Any customer who has not had gas restored, whether they have a door tag or not, should call Black Hills Energy at 888-890-5556 to schedule service to be restored. It is extremely important that customers do not attempt this themselves.
“At the start of the restoration process, we were hopeful we could make swift progress, but knew factors, including weather and COVID-19 precautions, could cause delays,” said Vance Crocker, vice president of operations for Black Hills Energy Colorado. “Our customers are extremely important to us. All of our crews were unified in wanting to restore service as safely and quickly as possible.”
“We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who assisted us in this effort,” Crocker continued. “The City of Aspen, Pitkin County, the technicians who traveled to lend a hand, and our customers and community who extended us their patience and support through this process.”
Local Black Hills Energy employees were joined by others from across Colorado, and as far away as Iowa. More than 170 technicians responded to the City of Aspen to help bring natural gas to every impacted customer after system-disrupting vandalism was discovered on Sunday.
Black Hills Energy is assisting law enforcement agencies with their investigations.
Customers can find additional information about the outage and Black Hills Energy’s response at blackhillsenergy.com/aspen/faqs.
Please remember the following safety tips:
- If you smell natural gas, leave the building or area immediately. Alert others, too.
- After you’re safe, call 911 and Black Hills Energy’s emergency number at 888-890-5554. Never assume someone else has reported a natural gas leak.
- Do not turn on lights, ignite a flame, use a cell phone or anything else that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or generator.
- Never attempt to repair a natural gas leak, and do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off.