Fewer than 20 Niwot and Gunbarrel homes and businesses — out of the 7,200 affected — remained without natural gas Sunday night after Xcel crews worked through the weekend to restore services.

The area lost services following a crippling equipment failure early Friday morning.

Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz said about 300 employees went door to door Saturday, overnight and into Sunday morning to restore gas. By Sunday morning, 197 residences and businesses still were without gas — and heat, he said. That number was reduced to about 40 locations still without service Sunday afternoon — all places where crews had been unable to gain access, he said.

Losing services during an arctic cold snap proved difficult for many of those affected. Some also took issue with how Excel handled the situation. The company sent out a phone message to customers on Friday night, telling them to be in their homes so that crews could get inside to light pilot lights — but in many cases those crews didn't come, residents said.

Marc Killinger, who lives in the Hunter Creek condominiums in Gunbarrel, said his gas wasn't restored until close to midnight on Saturday. To stay warm, he used firewood on Friday night and then borrowed an electric heater from a friend.

He said he also went 24 hours without any communication from Xcel.

“That's inexcusable,” he said.


Lisa Rogers, who also lives in Gunbarrel, said a group of neighbors gave up on Xcel around noon on Saturday and went door to door themselves to turn on pilot lights, even though Xcel had instructed them to wait.

She said many in the neighborhood are still repairing flood damaged basements and were concerned about pipes bursting.

“It seemed liked Xcel didn't have a plan for this,” she said.

Xcel's Stutz said the outage was caused by the failure of a piece of equipment at a natural gas regulator station near Niwot. The piece that failed regulates the flow of natural gas downstream to customers. When it failed, the regulator automatically shut down the flow of natural gas downstream from the regulator station, he said.

On Saturday night, the city of Boulder and Left Hand Water District shut off water to about 20 Gunbarrel homes in hopes of preventing property damage related to the outage, said Boulder public works spokesman Mike Banuelos.

He said Xcel hadn't been able to contact anyone at the homes and there was a concern that pipes would burst.

“We wanted to help them out in case they were out of town,” he said.

Affected water customers should call 303-441-3245 once their gas is back on to have their water service restored.