Press Release: Xcel preparing for winter storm

As of this morning, Xcel Energy has mobilized all available resources in preparation for what could be a major winter storm in the Texas Panhandle and Eastern New Mexico.

If we see significant icing prior to the snow, and if the storm also brings high winds, we likely will see power outages. Typical problems are icy lines that begin to “gallop” in the wind and lines that are downed when wind and ice damage support structures. Tree limbs also can cause problems when they contact live lines.

Xcel Energy is prepared to meet these challenges in the following ways:

Mobilizing all available power crews and contractors

Calling on support from neighboring utilities, if necessary

Planning logistics of moving crews and contractors to problem areas as they develop (this includes preparing for hot meals and hotel rooms)

Lining up suppliers of poles and other equipment that could be needed to make quick repairs

Reserving all available phone lines at our Amarillo Call Center, and bringing in additional agents to handle increased call volume

Mobilizing contract tree-trimming crews from around the region

Staffing up our Builders Call Line, which interfaces with city code inspectors (in the event of damage to customer-owned electric facilities)

Assigning key personnel to regional emergency operations centers

Mobilizing safety consultants to monitor how safely our employees are working

Importing additional power from outside sources

There are many other ways we must be prepared, and throughout the day we will continue meeting with one another to ensure our employees are primed and ready.

Customers who experience outages should:

Visually inspect their property, from a safe distance, to see if any live
lines are down.

Stay away from downed lines

Call 1-800-895-1999 to report downed lines and service interruptions, and provide as much detail as possible if there is visible damage on premises or in the alley.

Make a plan ahead of time to move small children, elderly or ailing friends and relatives to other locations if power service is down for an extended period of time.

Be prepared to call an electrician if the storm causes damage to customer-owned electric facilities.

Make the safety and comfort of your family and friends the top priority.