1/3/2015

Update on AEP Texas winter storm restoration in west Texas (1-3-2015; 1:30 p.m.)

As of 1:30 p.m. on Saturday approximately 5,430 customers were without electric service in the Alpine, Marathon, Fort Davis and surrounding areas as a result of the year’s first winter storm, according to Fred Hernandez, AEP Texas community affairs manager.

“Although the weather is improving, there was a lot of ice accumulation on our lines overnight,” Hernandez said.  “On some of the mesas just outside the Alpine city limits, the ice accumulation reached as much as three-inches thick.   Although the temperature is beginning to rise, ice and 25-to-30 miles-per-hour wind gusts in some areas are slowing our restoration efforts and caused new outages this morning.”

  • Two transmission lines serving residents within the Alpine city limits went out of operation around noon, which meant that the four major transmission lines serving the city were not operating, resulting in approximately 5,300 outages throughout the entire city.   Crews have shifted their focus to restore operation of these transmission lines and service to at least portions of the city.
  • A transmission line serving Fort Davis locked out around 1:15 p.m. leaving approximately 900 customers without power.  Crews from the Marfa area were in route to respond to the outage.
  • Much of Marathon remains without power.  AEP Texas now estimates that service restoration to the approximately 500 customers without power may not be complete until Sunday evening.  At least 20 poles and 40 cross arms will need to be repaired or replaced.   Although crews are taking steps to restore distribution service first and then repair or replace the damaged poles and cross arms at a later date, weather conditions are hampering those efforts.
  • AEP Texas crews are working to restore power to 250 customers in the Sunny Glen subdivision near Alpine.  Twenty-two utility poles were broken or damaged.  Restoration efforts in the subdivision are continuing throughout today; however, restoration to some residents in the subdivision may extend into Sunday.
  • Many of the remaining outages are scattered throughout the areas surrounding Alpine and Marathon.  Some of these outages are situated in areas that are difficult to reach due to road conditions and rugged terrain.

Approximately 90 service techs and other restoration personnel from outside the area have either arrived or are on their way to work on these and any other outages that may occur. These crews will support the 20 local service techs and other restoration personnel already working to restore electric service.

Electric customers should call the AEP Texas Customer Solutions Center (866-223-8508) to report downed power lines, power outages and any unsafe conditions.  Consumers are reminded to stay clear of any downed lines and assume they are energized.  Consumers may want to have a copy of their electric bill on hand, which contains their ESI ID number. This will help expedite service if they are transferred to an automated system.

Anyone on life support or who require an uninterrupted power supply should make alternative arrangements in case of an extended outage. Weather conditions may impede AEP Texas’ ability to access certain areas.

Additional safety tips can be found at www.aeptexas.com.  A "snapshot" view of current outages is available anytime at www.aeptexas.com/outages.

AEP Texas, a unit of American Electric Power, delivers electricity to over a million homes, businesses and industries in south and west Texas. AEP Texas provides regulated energy delivery service to consumers, regardless of which Retail Electric Provider they choose. The region headquarters is in Corpus Christi.

 

Larry Jones
AEP Texas Corporate Communications
lajones@aep.com
(512) 203-4916

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