News Flash


Posted on: December 28, 2020

Natural Gas Outage

Natural Gas Alert_web image

On December 26, 2020, incidents resulted in a natural gas outage within Aspen city limits and the surrounding area. More than 3,500 properties have been affected by the outage. Black Hills Energy is taking necessary measures to safely reinstate natural gas services, including making sure all gas meters are shut off, purging the system, and then going door-to-door to relight customers' gas appliances. For more information, visit Black Hill Energy's website and see general updates below.

Natural Gas Outage Area Map_Aspen

Click image to enlarge

News Updates

Person of Interest Cleared, December 31, 2020

The Aspen Police Department and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office have cleared a man depicted in a photograph released yesterday. More info.

Update from Black Hills Energy, December 30, 2020, 8 p.m.

More than 97% of homes and businesses have been restored! Local Black Hills Energy employees were joined by others from across Colorado, and as far away as Iowa. More than 170 technicians responded to the City of Aspen to help restore natural gas service. More info.

City of Aspen Police Department and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office Seek Help in Identifying Man, December 30, 2020, 4:45 p.m.

UPDATE: As of December 30, 2020 at 9:25 p.m. APD believes we have identified this person and have cleared them. We are removing the photo from this page. 
The Aspen Police Department and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office are seeking the public’s help in identifying a person of interest. A caller to the police department reported seeing a man on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 around 11 a.m. The man was described as behaving “suspiciously” behind a business in downtown Aspen. The caller took photographs of the person, though they are photos from behind. More info.

Update from Black Hills Energy, December 29, 2020, 8:30 p.m.

With more than 170 technicians working tirelessly and around the clock to restore gas service to customers in the City of Aspen, Black Hills Energy made considerable progress towards relighting the 3,500 customers who lost service following vandalism to the Black Hills Energy system. By the end of the day on Tuesday, the company estimates approximately 2,000 customers will have service restored, nearly 65 percent of customers who were without natural gas due to Sunday’s vandalism. More info.

City of Aspen Issues Local Emergency Declaration

The City of Aspen has declared a local disaster emergency in response to the natural gas outage and its effects on the City. More info.  

Update from Black Hills Energy, December 29, 2020, 3:27 p.m.

We are advising homeowners and property managers with unoccupied residences to take proactive steps to reduce the potential for damage to homes affected by the gas disruption in Aspen due to the low overnight temperatures in the area. More info.   

Update from Black Hills Energy, December 29, 2020, 11:16 a.m.

Technicians are working in a grid pattern in order to move efficiently and restore gas service to as many of the 3,500 impacted customers as quickly as possible. When a technician arrives to restore service, they will turn on the meter and then perform a variety of safety checks on gas appliances indoors, measuring for gas and carbon monoxide to identify any safety issues. Please do not attempt to relight your appliances. More info.

Update from Black Hills Energy, December 29, 2020, 8:56 a.m.

Our techs have worked through the night to complete the multi-step process to purge and repressurize the system. We were able to begin relighting our most critical customers overnight and the techs are currently in-route across the city to begin relighting customers. Please try to clear a path and remove any snow from the meter to assist our techs during the relight process.  More info.

Space Heaters Available for Residents Impacted by Natural Gas Outage

UPDATE: As of December 30, 2020, at 5:40 p.m. Space heaters remain available for those in need. Stop by and pick one up at Aspen Fire Department,420 E. Hopkins, until 9 p.m. tonight.    
Electric space heaters are immediately available this evening at the Aspen Police Department offices, 540 East Main Street. These heaters have been provided by Black Hills Energy to allow for emergency heating for residents affected by the natural gas outage in Aspen. More Info.

Community Meeting Scheduled for December 28, 2020, at 6 p.m.

Pitkin County will host a virtual community meeting on December 28, 2020, at 6 p.m. to provide a statement regarding the recent natural gas outage in Aspen, Colorado. Representatives from Black Hills Energy, City of Aspen, and Pitkin County will be available with recent information and to answer questions and concerns.

To view the meeting recording, click here and enter passcode n9U@UAR4. 

News Release from Black Hills Energy, December 28, 2020, 2:40 p.m.

"Black Hills Energy technicians are in the process of shutting off 3,500 gas meters in Aspen, purging and pressure testing the system, and bringing natural gas customers back online following vandalism that damaged the Black Hills Energy system and forced gas to be shut off to many customers in Aspen... More info.

News Release from Black Hills Energy, December 27, 2020, 10 p.m.

Black Hills Energy has identified additional damage to its system due to vandalism that occurred on December 27. To safely facilitate necessary repairs, technicians will go door to door and turn off the approximately 3,500 impacted gas meters in the city to ensure the safety of the community beginning at 10 p.m. tonight. After making repairs and re-pressurizing the system, service will be restored to impacted residents and businesses. More info.

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to frequently asked questions, including where to get space heaters and the process for purging and relighting the natural gas system, see Frequently Asked Questions provided by Black Hills Energy and a listing provided by the City of Aspen.

Safety Precautions

What to do if there is a gas leak, per Black Hills Energy

  • Be alert for leaking natural gas. If you smell natural gas, leave the building or area immediately, and tell others to leave, too.
  • After you're safely away from the area, call 911 and the Black Hills Energy emergency number at 888-890-5554. Never assume someone else has reported a natural gas leak. Alert your neighbors. 
  • Do not turn on lights, ignite a flame, use a cell phone, or use anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator. 
  • Never attempt to repair a natural gas leak, and do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. 

Special Needs Registry

Those who identify as having special needs or have a disability may sign up for Pitkin Alerts Special Needs Registry at Please direct questions to 970-920-5234.

Special needs are identified as being a person who is hard of hearing, visually impaired, on oxygen, is power dependent for things like dialysis or refrigerated medicines, has psychiatric disabilities, or has communications limitations, speech difficulties, a cognitive disability, mobility issues, other challenges.

Once you're on the list, responders can contact you, if possible, during an emergency to provide specific attention.  

Additional Information

For the most current and up-to-date information about the natural gas outage in Aspen, visit Black Hills Energy's website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter


If you have specific questions regarding your gas service, contact Black Hills Energy at 1-888-890-5554.

Media inquiries can be directed to 970-924-0614.

If you have information regarding the investigation of the outage, please contact the City of Aspen Police Department at 970-920-5400.

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