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Power restored for all but 20 customers after large outages

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Posted at 7:29 AM, Dec 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-20 07:33:58-05

Thursday's winter storm left thousands of Rocky Mountain Power customers without electricity for several hours, and crews worked overnight to restore power to all but 20 customers.

Those customers still without power are expected to have it back by 11 a.m. Friday.

FOX 13 captured footage of a power line explosion near the intersection of Ft. Union Blvd. and Highland Dr. (See video above.)

The explosion shut down power to many residents and businesses Thursday. Freestyle Sushi owner Brad Barber described the scene.

"I got into work this morning, and the telephone pole out front of the store was on fire," he said. "…While I was standing here, saw a bright flash and saw it explode.”

Barber said he likely lost several thousand dollars in revenue, plus the food he may need to throw out.

A nearby resident told FOX 13 News he had been without power at his house since about 8 a.m. Thursday.

"I even came to work early due to it'd be funner there than at my house in the pitch black," said Christopher Record as the frustration increased. "The only thing I hear is, 'Oh it's going to be three hours' and now 'It's going to be five more hours' so I might as well continue working until three in the morning, see how it all goes from there."

Rocky Mountain Power explains that the inversion combined with the storm's moisture is the perfect combination to create these power line problems. Spokesperson Margaret Oler explained the issue.

"As this storm front moves across, it began to blow contaminants into the system, into facilities, and then the moisture came in - the combination of those two things has caused a lot of arcing across the insulators and caused a lot of pole fires that have been scattered throughout the area today,” Oler said.

Watch FOX 13 News and fox13now.com for updates.