By Mark Heinz
Work, research efforts and other online-based activities came to an abrupt halt early Tuesday afternoon in Laramie as a massive outage hit more than 9,000 Rocky Mountain Power customers.
Crews were working to get the power back on to the roughly 9,700 affected customers, according to information posted on the company’s customer service portal. The cause of the outage was “undermined” as of Tuesday afternoon, and it was estimated that it could take until at least 1 a.m. to restore power.
The worst of the outage centered on the north section of town, and there were smaller outage clusters scattered across the southern parts of Laramie, according to Rocky Mountain Power.
A Starbucks on Grand Avenue near the east end of town became a gathering place for many seeking one of the city’s few remaining Wi-Fi connections.
Gabe Perez said he’d been using his laptop at home to research job opportunities in construction management in Texas when the power died, so he decided to head to Starbucks. Many of the tables and booths were occupied by people quietly hunched over their laptop computers.
“There is a connection here, but it hasn’t been very good,” he said. “I ended up setting up a personal hot spot off my phone.”
He said his roommate works as a programmer at a local business that relies heavily on the Internet.
When the power crashed, “they just called it a day,” he said.