LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As thousands of electric customers in the path of Tuesday’s storms and Wednesday’s high winds wait for their power to be restored, The men and women who will turn that power back on are hard at work.
Around Lubbock, South Plains Electric Co-Op says that in a 24-hour period they have had 4,000 members without power. To get everyone back up and running, SPEC says their roughly 40 linemen have been working non-stop. “In these kinds of situations, it’s an all-hands-on-deck,” said Lynn Simmons, Director of Communications with SPEC.
Simmons compared the linemen to first responders. “Like our firefighters and police officers. They’re first on the scene. Their top priority is working safely but second, to that, they’re going to do everything they can to try and restore that member’s power as quickly as possible.
Simmons added they had people from other departments helping out, bringing supplies to the linemen in the field. “To help cut the restoration time down of the guys coming back to the office for supplies, we have other people in the organization that pitch in and help out during severe weather events.”
The hard work paid off for SPEC - as of 5 p.m. they were down to only 6 customers in the Lubbock area without power.
Xcel Energy, which serves customers across West Texas and Eastern New Mexico has slightly more than 12,500 outages.
To track outages, follow the links below.
Xcel Energy issued this statement on Thursday night:
Close to 12,500 Xcel Energy customers remain without power tonight. We continue to revise the total affected number upward, and are now documenting close to 150,000 customers in Texas and New Mexico who have been affected by power disruption over the past two days. This puts our completion rate at around 92 percent.
We have more than 500 personnel dedicated to this restoration, and they still have about 1,300 separate jobs to complete. We are still aiming to have 98 percent of the customers who can accept power restored by late Friday. Some of the remaining customers will need to hire electricians to repair damage to their electrical systems before we can reconnect. We know this has been difficult for the customers who remain without power, and we appreciate their continued understanding as we work through one of the most difficult restoration processes in our company’s history in Texas and New Mexico. We want to thank our restoration crews for their service, and express our appreciation to their families who are helping them through this challenging time. Additionally, our community partners and first responders have helped us in so many ways, and we’re grateful for their support and service to their communities.