By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico
Xcel Energy power crews spent Thursday working to restore power across eastern New Mexico and west Texas.
“There were a few scattered outages early on, but they were really limited,” said Portales Deputy Police Chief Lonnie Berry. “The power company has been right there on the spot to take care of it, but there hasn’t been anything that has caused us problems.”
Berry said there was a plan in place to set up shelters, “So if the power does go out then we can jump on it and be ready to go.”
The Memorial Building, First Baptist Church and Portales Recreation Center were designated as shelters if power is lost, said Berry.
“If the power does go out we need people to call in,” Berry said. “So we know what areas are affected and then we’ll know where to go from there.”
As of Thursday afternoon in Clovis, there were no outages.
Ken De Los Santos, local emergency planning director, said if shelters are needed, the city can implement them fairly quickly.
Meanwhile, he said organizations such as the Salvation Army can place individuals in hotels on a case-by-case basis.
Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves said reports of power outages tapered off as the day wore on.
“Muleshoe had power restored to them around 8:15 a.m. and some rural areas have been off and on all day,” Reeves said. “I think most of the outages this morning were taken care of.”
Power to Muleshoe was interrupted to 1,000 customers — including three of the district’s four schools — after a transmission line went down around 7:12 a.m. Thursday. Reeves said crews were dispatched and power was restored within an hour.
Power to Bovina, Farwell and Texico was restored to all but two or three customers, said Reeves.
Reeves said most outages were caused by ice-coated power lines being slapped together in high winds, causing fuses to blow at substations.
“Most of what we are seeing has been main lines that have gone out of service momentarily,” he said.
To report downed lines or power outages:
Xcel Energy — 1-800 895-1999
Portales Police Department — 356-4404