TS Beta: Power Outage Preparation, Safety Tips
Texas-New Mexico Power, which delivers power to more than 130,000 homes and businesses in Brazoria and Galveston counties, again is preparing for the possible impacts of a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico.
TNMP has been monitoring forecasts for Tropical Storm Beta and has plans in place to bring additional resources to bear in case it delivers a significant or lengthy power outage event.
"This is the third time we've prepared for a tropical storm this season, and hopefully this one also will spare our communities in the region," TNMP President Neal Walker said. "But we'll be ready if it does impact our system."
- Customers should be prepared for the possibility they could be without power for 24-48 hours or even for many days.
- Impacts on TNMP's system and resulting outages are difficult to predict and will be determined by the storm.
- Customers who use powered medical equipment should re-confirm their backup plans right away.
- No one should approach a downed power line; instead they should report it to the power company and call 911 if the downed line is an immediate hazard to people or property.
- Crews will restore power as quickly as safety allows, using a triage approach outlined below.
- Significant flooding could delay our power-restoration efforts if it limits crews' ability to safely travel around the area.
Safe Distances From Employees & Damaged Equipment
Crews will work as quickly as can be done safely to assess damage and restore power, whether the impact on our system is large or small.
Customers are asked to keep their distance from crew members and their job sites, both for Covid-19 reasons and because our work sites and equipment can be hazardous to untrained people.
Possible Impacts on Customers
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 the storm 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.
Important Tips for Customers
- Prepare for the possibility that you could be without power for 24-48 hours or even for many days.
- 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 a triage process based on the number of customers served by given facilities and the amount of time required to restore those facilities. Lines with large numbers of customers and shorter restoration estimates will be worked first.
Entire areas may be restored, but some customers within those areas still may be without power due to additional damage on a smaller, local scale. This scenario can be block-to-block or even house-to-house. Outages affecting very small numbers of customers each generally are worked toward the end.
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.
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 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:
- Our automated customer phone system: 888-866-7456
- Twitter (@tnmp)
- Facebook (@texasnewmexicopower)
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 about 255,000 homes and businesses on behalf of retail electric providers in Texas. More information is available at tnmp.com/about.