On Sunday morning, Sept. 8, 2013, Empire Electric experienced an outage south of Cortez along U.S. 491/160. The outage began at 7:30 a.m. and affected an area from approximately the port of entry facility near the intersection of County Road G and the highway south to within 1 mile of the Ute Mountain Ute reservation boundary.
A pickup heading northbound on the highway first swerved right then overcorrected and swerved across the median and through the ditch, shearing off one of the main line poles for the electrical distribution circuit serving the area. Although the driver of the vehicle walked away without serious injury, once the line was isolated and the damaged pole was secured, the pickup truck had to be detached and pulled away from all of the hardware and pole debris before work could begin on the replacement.
Power was fully restored at 3:12 p.m.