Colorado town running on generator after lightning strike

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado town is using a generator to operate its power grid after lightning hit a transformer and caused what an official called a perfect storm of mechanical failure.

Oak Creek Town Administrator Chris Johnson said the community began work to replace the transformer after the lightning strike Friday, The Steamboat Pilot & Today reported.

The town is attempting to acquire fuses that are a special size and difficult to obtain as a result of the small grid and substation.

Officials in the town 156 miles (251 kilometers) west of Denver have searched nationwide and placed a special order for the fuses, which Johnson said are expected to arrive in three to four weeks.

Other parts of the electric system failed when workers attempted to restore the grid after the lightning. The town has exhausted its inventory of spare parts, Johnson said.

“It was a perfect storm of things that went bad — an unfortunate and unexpected event that we could never have predicted — to have all things break at once,” Johnson said.

The generator ran out of fuel and caused a short power outage Friday, which Johnson attributed to increased use of fans and refrigeration and air conditioning units resulting from the hot weather.

Oak Creek residents were urged by Johnson in a social media post to conserve energy.

“We are asking everyone to do what you can to help us keep the power on in town," Johnson said.