Debris from wind caused power outage

Crews with the city and Xcel Energy worked together Friday afternoon to clear roofing material on the intersection of Second and Pile streets in Clovis. About 376 Clovis customers lost power when the roofing material knocked lines loose from transformers and opened a breaker at a city substation, Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves said.

CNJ staff

An estimated 376 Clovis customers went without power for about an hour Friday due to damage from high winds.

Power went out at around 3:50 p.m., and was restored shortly before 5 p.m. City workers helped clear metal roofing that had blown near the intersection of Second and Pile streets, according to Wes Reeves, a spokesman for Xcel Energy, which supplies the city’s power.

“It looked like some roofing material had flown loose and contacted the line,” Reeves said, “and actually knocked two lines loose from their insulators.”

Wind gusts peaked at 49 mph at a measuring station three miles north of Texico around 3:35, according to Amanda Abeyta, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

The area was on a red flag warning for high winds from the National Weather Service until 9 p.m. The warning is meant to inform firefighting crews that conditions are ideal for grassfires to spread quickly.

Alex Massey of Clovis, who drove by during the cleanup efforts, said he was impressed with the city’s work, and noted the same quality of work when a tornado struck the city three years and three days ago.

“They’re just doing a really efficient job,” Massey said, noting that traffic was “insane” due to the weather.

Reeves said power outages are more likely to happen from debris being blown into power lines than wind knocking lines loose. The incident in Clovis, he said, was an example of both.

The harder outages to solve, Reeves said, are when there is damage to a pole or a crossarm.

“When we have a lot of wind like this, no doubt we get isolated calls from all over,” Reeves said. “Most of the bigger outages have been in Texas.”