Outage Preparation Key With Storm in Forecast

Lewisville, Texas
  • Ice and heavy snow both can cause localized power outages.
  • Customers encouraged to confirm outage plans.
  • Crews will work as quickly as safety allows.

Texas-New Mexico Power is making plans for possible localized power outages that could result from winter weather this week.

Customers in and near areas that weather forecasters indicate may be affected by ice or snow are encouraged to confirm their own power outage plans as they prepare for whatever winter ultimately brings. 

"Ice storms and storms with heavy, wet snow always have the potential to cause outages, large and small," TNMP President Neal Walker says. "These can be very time-consuming and challenging for our crews to repair because of safety considerations and the difficulty in driving and working in those conditions."

Additional TNMP crews and contract crews will be ready to mobilize if there are significant effects and lengthy outages.

Is this like last year?

North Texas weather forecasters have emphasized that this storm is unlike Winter Storm Uri and have indicated it's similar to other winter storms experienced in Texas over the years.

TNMP is not a power plant operator and can't speak to the efforts made by entities in that sector of the industry over the last year. ERCOT has made available its Roadmap to Improving Grid Reliability (pdf download) to review efforts affecting the overall system.

Local outages possible

Local power outages remain possible in our territory, regardless of grid-wide initiatives under way. Ice and / or heavy snow can drag down power lines and even entire trees onto lines, which can be challenging and time-consuming to repair.  

Not only are working conditions more difficult outside in extreme cold, but working around ice and snow on our equipment or on the ground makes it imperative for our employees to slow down and focus on safety.

Crews also must travel to patrol lines and locate damage in need of repair. Driving large trucks on slick roads, however, makes it necessary for our employees to drive slowly and carefully.

It also is difficult to predict in advance which exact areas will be affected by outages the most.

All of these factors increase the chances of outages taking longer to restore.

Tips for customers

  • Confirm your backup plans if anyone in your home depends on powered medical equipment.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and away from trees contacting downed lines.
  • Check flashlights or electric lanterns in advance.
  • Ensure you have fresh batteries for flashlights and hand-held radios.
  • Keep lanterns, phones, tablets and other devices charged ahead of time.
  • Please keep your distance from our crews' work zones, because of both regular safety hazards and to respect social distancing.

Outage information for customers

Outages in TNMP territory can be reported by calling 888-866-7456.

Updated restoration estimates also can be obtained from that number. The nature of the estimates we have available may vary depending on how many outages result from the storm and how many customers are affected.

If the storm has significant impacts in one or more areas, we also will have general updates available via social media.

How TNMP responds

We prepare crews for power outage work in areas that are forecasted to be affected by incoming weather. We also have plans for quickly calling in additional crews, if needed.

Our first focus is on ensuring public and employee safety.

Restoration efforts then prioritize fixing damage that is disrupting power for key community services (hospitals, water/sewer, etc.), then working on repairing outages affecting the largest numbers of customers.

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.

Media Contact
Eric Paul