T&D World Magazine

Lights Back On for TNMP Customers Affected By Hurricane Rita; More Than 25,000 Customers Restored

Just three days after Hurricane Rita stormed through the Gulf Coast, more than 25,000 Texas-New Mexico Power Co. customers had their electric service completely restored.

All reported power outages in Texas-New Mexico Power Company's Gulf Coast service area were restored by Tuesday evening following the Saturday storm. Outage reports may continue to trickle in as customers return home.

Initial estimates suggested approximately 20,000 TNMP customers were affected by Rita. That number increased as customers returned home and reported additional outages. While outages were reported in Friendswood, Alvin, Angleton, West Columbia and League City, the communities that were hit hardest were Texas City, La Marque and Dickinson.

Restoration was complete to more than 90% of affected customers within 48 hours. In addition to Gulf Coast personnel, who began working to restore service Saturday, TNMP brought in 150 more employees and contract workers to restore service.

"We appreciate our customers' patience with this effort, and are pleased that we were able to get our service back on a full day earlier than projected," said Doug Hobbs, TNMP president and CEO. "Employees from throughout our company worked virtually around the clock since early Saturday to make this happen."

TNMP crews will continue to focus on cleanup -- replacing utility poles and trimming storm-damaged trees that might affect service -- in addition to working any new outage calls that come in.

Several TNMP crewmen who worked long hours to ensure power restoration occurred as quickly and safely as possible had just returned from Mississippi, where they worked with Mississippi Power crews to restore power from damage due to Hurricane Katrina. Many of these same TNMP workers are now readying to assist in Beaumont, where power restoration is anticipated to take several weeks to complete.

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