Include Power Outages in Hurricane Preparations
Electricity customers are encouraged to include the possibility of power outages in their annual hurricane season preparations.
Texas-New Mexico Power's poles, wires and other facilities in Galveston and Brazoria counties have been significantly impacted by many tropical storms and hurricanes over the years, including Harvey in 2017 and Ike in 2008.
Our Gulf Coast teams are knowledgeable about and experienced in restoring power after tropical storms and hurricanes, but the work still can be challenging. Additional crews also will be staged in advance of a storm making landfall.
Not all customers may lose power in a tropical storm or hurricane, but they are encouraged to assume that they could be out for many days after a storm exits.
"We understand the importance to our communities and customers of having power when recovering from a storm," TNMP President Neal Walker said. "Public and crew member safety is prioritized first, of course, but getting the lights back on is what we do."
While the impact that a storm may have on our system is difficult to predict, lengthy power outages often can result.
Winds can damage equipment directly, along with broken and blowing tree limbs contacting wires and other equipment. Lightning strikes also are common causes of outages.
Flooding resulting from tropical storms also could impact service, including that:
- employees potentially could be unable to reach and / or repair equipment.
- power in areas with underground service may need to be turned off by us to ensure public safety.
Important Tips for Customers
If a tropical storm or hurricane is forecasted to make landfall near you:
- Prepare for the possibility that you could be without power for days (not hours).
- Evacuate per official guidance from public safety officials, particularly if being without power for days would be difficult for you.
- If someone in your home is dependent upon powered medical equipment, confirm your backup plan at the beginning of the hurricane season and confirm it when a storm may be in the forecast.
- Stock up on batteries and check flashlights well in advance.
- Stock up on bottled water and non-perishable food well in advance; include a manual can opener.
- Make a plan for your mobile phone, including turning it on only periodically if power is out and getting a backup energy source (battery-operated devices or a car charger).
- Teach everyone in your home to stay far away from any downed power lines and equipment.
- Assume that every line is energized and deadly, even if power is out in the area.
- Call 911 if there's an immediate threat to public safety, then call us at 888-866-7456.
- If power goes out while operating appliances, please put them in the "off" position so that they won't turn back on immediately when power is restored.
- These can include electric stovetops, curling irons or any appliance that you wouldn't want running unsupervised.
- Customers whose homes or businesses are at imminent risk of flooding may wish to turn off the main switch on their breaker boxes to cut power and reduce risk to building occupants.
Portable Generator Safety Tips
- Check the manufacturer's safety warnings in advance.
- Set up and run well away from a home or business due to the risk of carbon monoxide being pulled in from outside.
- Unless you have installed a TNMP-approved transfer switch, directly power only individual appliances and not your entire home or business.
How Power Restoration Is Prioritized
- We will delay restoration efforts in any given location if it's necessary to protect the safety of the public or our employees.
- Highest priority repairs that will be made serve critical facilities, including hospitals, water-treatment plants and sewer lift stations.
- Subsequent repairs are prioritized for restoration via a triage approach that focuses first on restoring the largest numbers of customers still out.
- While we appreciate that it can be frustrating, outage repairs that will restore smaller numbers of customers, including single homes, will be worked later in the process.
- Areas where trees and overhead lines are in close proximity often can take longer because of the time required to cut trees from the lines before damaged equipment can be repaired.
- During storm-restoration work, our tree trimmers will leave trimmed branches on customer property.
- Entire circuits may be restored, but some customers served by those circuits still may be without power due to damage on a smaller, local scale. This scenario can be block-to-block or even house-to-house.
How Customers Can Get Information
If TNMP's system is impacted significantly by a tropical storm or hurricane, we plan to publish general, high-level estimates about when we expect power to be restored. We'll be unable to provide details about specific areas of a given city or neighborhood.
All estimates will be based on latest available damage assessments and will be subject to change. Estimates and updates will be provided via our automated customer phone system: 888-866-7456.
If a storm has significant impact on a region, additional updates may be published on our Twitter (@tnmp) and Facebook (@texasnewmexicopower) pages, along with TNMP.com.
Gulf Coast Communities Served by TNMP
- Bailey's Prairie
- Holiday Lakes
- La Marque
- League City
- Old Ocean
- Pearland (small portion of town)
- Texas City
- West Columbia
TNMP is a transmission and distribution service provider that delivers power to more than 260,000 homes and businesses on behalf of retail electric providers in Texas. More information is available at tnmp.com/about-us.