Icy winter conditions in West Texas brought numerous power outages to areas served by AEP Texas. The locations most severely affected include Marfa, Valentine, Fort Davis and Marathon. Some parts of Presidio, as well as the Calamity Creek, Country Club Estates and Sunny Glen neighborhoods outside of Alpine were affected as well.
Marfa lost power at 2PM on Sunday afternoon after the winter ice storm hit Far West Texas, leaving many electrical lines twisted on the ground. A 138-kV transmission line from Barilla Junction to Alamito Creek went out of service. The city of Presidio switched to battery power, which only ran 14 hours before being drained Monday morning at 10AM
There were nine substations reported to be out of service as the icy conditions downed power lines, cross arms and utilities poles as increased weight accumulated on the power lines. Several poles between the Alamity and Barillo electrical substations in the Pasiano Pass were snapped like twigs on the ground. 50 cross-arms holding electrical wires needed replacement as well. AEP Texas vice president of the electric distribution, Bruce Evans, apologized for the inconvenience caused by the storm and assured citizens that they are working as hard as they could to get the power restored as quickly and safely as possible.
AEP Texas have nearly 100 employees and contractors in the area working on affected zones. Their contingency plan includes calling sub-contractors from Oklahoma and Texasin addition to local crews. The break in poor weather on Monday gave AEP the chance to flya surveillance plane in to take an aerial view of the damage done on the utility lines.
This Monday, AEP has made significant progress in restoring power to West Texas communities that lost service. Residents of Marfa Texas were reconnected to the power grid on Monday afternoon. Though Marfa residents are now enjoying electricity again, areas south and west of Alpine were still without power.
Customers are free to call the AEP Texas Customer Solutions Center (866-223-8508) to report any downed power lines, power outages and any unsafe conditions.
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