Durango Businesses Experience Widespread Power Outage

January 18, 2017

By Alicia Young - Web Editor

If you watch the news, it seems like power outages happen every single day. Whether they’re caused by a rogue squirrel, a traffic accident, or a potential Russian hack, the fact remains that power outages are not a good time for anyone involved. While they may not be a big deal for someone sitting at home on a Sunday afternoon, outages can be catastrophic for businesses if they don’t have uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) in place. Unfortunately for companies in Durango, CO and the surrounding areas, they found that out the hard way on Tuesday.

About 6,000 customers lost power for nearly two hours on Tuesday in Durango, according to La Plata Electric Association. The outage, which occurred shortly before 3 p.m., was caused by equipment failure at a substation in Greenmount Cemetery. Power was not restored until 4:43 p.m. and, in the meantime, businesses had a hard time keeping operations going. To make matters worse, FastTrack, an Internet provider in Durango, was also without power. Therefore, not only did businesses not have power, but they also had very slow Internet speeds on any devices still working.

Some businesses opted to shut down completely during that two hour span. Those who remained open had a hard time running operations because they could not run cash registers or any other equipment. For instance, Durango Joe’s coffee shop was only able to sell drip coffee and pastries during that time, which was unappealing to the many customers coming in looking for hot chocolate. If anyone did happen to buy anything, they had to pay in cash, and employees had to rely on their rusty math skills to make change.

This particular power outage was large and wiped out business operations everywhere in Durango, except in those few places that has UPS systems in place. South City Market, for example, didn’t experience any problems during the power outage because it had UPS on site.

Here, the choice is simple. The coffee shop lost business and revenue because it did not make a simple investment in UPS systems. Meanwhile, South City Market was able to remain operational during the two-hour long outage because it was prepared for the unexpected. One company continued to make money for two hours, while the other didn’t. And in a busy downtown setting in the middle of the day, that could add up to be quite a bit of money lost.

Which company do you want to be during an outage?

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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