July 28, 2013
PNM Restores Power to More Than 90 Percent of Customers Affected by Friday Storm
Albuquerque: PNM has restored power to more than 90 percent of customers affected by the Friday night storm, however about 2,700 customers are still without power and officials say that PNM continues to bring in additional crews to assist with an ongoing round-the-clock effort.
Crews from five other utilities in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona have been called in to assist. Some arrived today and others will be at work on restoration tomorrow.
"We know it is very difficult for our customers to be without power for this long," said Ron Talbot, PNM Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. "We are making slow and steady progress, and this is the most difficult part of the restoration effort."
He added the damage was unprecedented for the company as far as a single weather event. While PNM has provided mutual assistance to other utilities following storms, this is the first time PNM has had to ask for assistance from other utilities. The damage encountered by our crews in this storm was only surpassed by the damage they experienced during Hurricane Sandy restoration late last year.
Talbot said that PNM has focused on repairs that would help the largest number of customers at a time, and the work is unusually difficult due to the extent of the damage. For example, many trees have toppled onto equipment and have to be removed before restoration can occur.
The company estimates that with the arrival of additional crews, 95 percent of affected customers should be restored by the end of the day tomorrow, and 99 percent should be restored by the end of the day Tuesday. PNM has more than double the number of people working than it normally does to address restoration as swiftly and safely as possible.
- As of 8 p.m., approximately 2,700 customers are without power, including 2,500 in Albuquerque, with the remainder in Valencia and Sandoval Counties as well as the East Mountains. At the height of the storm between 31,000 and 32,000 customers were in the dark. Storms that rolled through central New Mexico this evening hampered the work and created additional outages.
- Tonight, PNM has about 85 line and construction crew members in the field, including eight crewmembers from El Paso Electric. By tomorrow that number will surpass 100. Field crews are backed by numerous employees working behind the scenes to coordinate work, talk with customers and plan.
- Prioritization for the remaining customers is determined by where the work can make the biggest impact. For example, restoration that can bring several homes back on at once will be given priority over restoration to a single household.
With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving more than 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit PNM.com.