Power Restoration Efforts Back in Full Swing
Texas-New Mexico power crews and contractors were fully operational again Wednesday, restoring power to customers in Galveston and Brazoria counties affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Crews' work was limited Sunday and Tuesday because of flooding.
At peak, on Sunday, almost 20,000 homes and businesses were without power. As of Wednesday morning, there were 800 outages reported affecting about 7,500 homes and businesses.
'Slowing down'? No way
While we've made good progress, based on numbers alone, it may being to appear in coming days that our progress will be "slowing down."
That perception results from our triage approach to power restoration. We work first on equipment that is affecting the largest numbers of customers, then make repairs that restore progressively fewer customers.
"We understand that our customers, especially if they've been out for several days, are eager to have their lights back," TNMP President Neal Walker said.
"We want that, too, but it's not possible to just get everyone on right away. But we do execute a plan that restores the most customers the quickest."
Preparing second wave
We have additional employees, contract linemen and contract tree trimmers on their way in to TNMP’s service area later this week as a second wave.
They will join additional TNMP crews from around Texas to focus on trimming vegetation and repairing and replacing equipment.
Safety still critical
Harvey has moved east and flooding has subsided in many (but not all) areas we serve. But public safety and safety for our crew members remains paramount.
All customers – and news field employees – should stay far away from downed power lines and stay out of water where lines are down. Even if power is out in the area, the lines should be assumed to be energized and deadly.
Portable generator operators should follow manufacturer operating and safety instructions to the letter.
What can customers expect?
- We are estimating that a substantial number of customers currently out will be restored by Sunday at 6 p.m. Exceptions will be for customers who part of outages affecting small numbers of customers and any areas that experienced heavy flooding.
- We will continue to use the triage approach discussed above. That means our damaged equipment that is affecting very small numbers of customers will be repaired later in the process.
- We'd indicated before Harvey arrived that customers should be prepared for outages that last days, not hours. Harvey's impact exceeded even our expectations in that regard.
- We'll be unable to provide estimates for specific communities or neighborhoods.
- Customers who use powered medical equipment – and whose power-outage backup plans weren't viable because of Harvey's impact – should call 911 or seek professional medical help, if needed.
- Damaged customer-owned facilities on homes and businesses – where our equipment connects to deliver power – will have to repaired or replaced by a professional electrician before we'll be able to restore power.
Please refer to our Aug. 24 press release for additional applicable information.
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.
Eric Paul: 409-949-5685