Possible Harvey-Caused Power Outages: Preparations Under Way

Texas City, Texas

Texas-New Mexico Power is preparing for the possibility of damage to its electric system and lengthy power outages that could result from Tropical Storm Harvey.

Employees are preparing equipment and materials that would be used in the event that a large power outage-restoration effort is required.

Resources from TNMP areas elsewhere in the state and contractor companies also are preparing for the possibility of being dispatched to the area.

Possible Impacts on Customers

It's challenging to predict the specific impact that any storm may have on our system, but lengthy power outages often can result from any tropical storm. Winds can damage equipment directly, along with broken and blowing tree limbs contacting wires and other equipment.

Flooding resulting from Harvey also could impact service. For example:

  • 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.

Safety for Customers & Our Employees

Crews will work as quickly as can be done safely to assess damage and restore power.

"Our employees are experienced with restoring power after tropical storms and hurricanes,," TNMP President Neal Walker says. "But even the most experienced know they must be vigilant regarding the dangers of working in a post-storm environment.

"We'll be very focused on public safety and employee safety throughout any storm restoration work. We ask that all customers in the area focus on those factors first, too."

Important Tips for TNMP Customers

  • Prepare for the possibility that you could be without power for days (not hours).
  • If someone in your home is dependent upon powered medical equipment, confirm your backup plan right away.
  • Stock up on batteries and check flashlights in advance.
  • Stock up on bottled water and non-perishable food in advance; include a manual can opener.
  • Make a plan for your mobile phone, including to turn it on only periodically if power is out and getting a backup energy source (battery-operated devices or a car charger).

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.
  • Directly power only individual appliances and not your entire home or business.

More Safety Tips

  • Teach everyone in your home to stay far away from any downed power lines and equipment.
    • Downed lines may not be visible in flood waters.
  • 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.

How Power Restoration Is Prioritized

  • Highest priority for restoration are critical facilities, including hospitals, water-treatment plants and sewer lift stations.
  • Subsequent prioritization is based on the number of customers served by a given circuit and the amount of time required to restore that circuit. Circuits with large numbers of customers and shorter restoration time estimates will be worked first.
  • 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 the 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, we plan to publish general, high-level updates about power restoration on a by-city or regional level after assessments have been completed.

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 are subject to change.

Estimates and updates will be provided via:

Gulf Coast Communities Served by TNMP

  • Alvin
  • Angleton
  • Bailey's Prairie
  • Brazoria
  • Dickinson
  • Friendswood
  • Holiday Lakes
  • La Marque
  • League City
  • Old Ocean
  • Pearland (small portion of town)
  • Sweeny
  • Texas City
  • West Columbia

Texas-New Mexico Power is a transmission and distribution service provider that delivers power to about 245,000 homes and businesses on behalf of retail electric providers in Texas. More information is available at tnmp.com/about-us.

Media contact
Eric Paul: 409-949-5685