An early spring storm packing high winds and plenty of moisture, affected hundreds of travelers with closed roads and knocked out power to thousands of customers for both Raton Public Service Company and Springer Electric Cooperative on Friday, March 24th.
Making an appearance in the early morning hours, the powerful storm closed northbound I-25 over the Raton Pass shortly after 5 am and then Southbound at about 11 am. With winds whipping the snow to zero visibility, Hiway 87 between Raton and Clayton was soon closed at around 11:45 am.
Raton Public Service company experienced a short outage a little before 8am because of problems to the North with Tri-State Generation, and then lost power completely until after 7 pm. The cause of the outage, according to RPS General Manager Robert Walton, was the combination of wind and heavy snow snapping a pole carrying the 69 kv line just west of Raton. Walton said crews had a tough time getting equipment close to the pole because of the soggy, wet conditions and got bogged down and stuck several times and would not have been able to navigate and make the repair if they had not been aided by a bulldozer provided by contractor Bill Serazio.
Springer Electric also had a tough time with the weather, losing several poles and not getting power restored to all areas till late in the evening.