Xcel Energy has restored power in parts of New Mexico on Thursday after severe storms pummeled the area Wednesday night.
"Xcel Energy power plant personnel were successful in starting the Quay County Generating Station after changing out some computer equipment on the controller," Xcel Energy Senior Media Relations Representative Wes Reeves said in a 4:17 p.m. update Thursday. "All Tucumcari customers affected by last night’s outage have been restored after they were connected to Quay County. We will closely monitor the power plant to ensure its continued reliability while transmission line crews rebuild the 20 downed structures on the main transmission feed into the city."
It is possible the repairs on the transmission line won’t be complete until Monday, Xcel Energy said, so they will keep Tucumcari connected to the backup source for the weekend.
As of 4 p.m., they still had close to 600 customers without power in New Mexico, mostly in the Clovis area. The company said distribution crews will continue restoring power into the evening.
As reported earlier, Tucumcari remained without power Thursday afternoon after Wednesday's storm heavily damaged the electric transmission line supplying the city. Xcel Energy crews confirmed 20 downed transmission structures on a 115-kilovolt transmission line that supplies the city of Tucumcari with power. The company has called in multiple in-house construction crews, including contract crews, to rebuild these structures and restore the line. Xcel Energy said the backup generating resource for the city, the Quay County Generating Station, remained offline as power plant crews worked through a controller issue. Xcel Energy’s community relations group was working with state and local leadership to assess the situation for Tucumcari residents and to ensure continued operation of water and sanitation services. Xcel Energy said it had also brought in line crews from area towns to assist with the restoration in Clovis. As of 1:30 p.m., the Xcel Energy outage map estimated nearly 4,500 total customers were impacted between the two communities.
Roads also impacted by storm damage, flooding
According to an update on Thursday from the Curry County Road Department, CR19 between CR D and CR H was currently closed. "The torrential rains and flooding from last night’s storm have been very challenging. A significant number of roads have been damaged, may be hazardous or closed due to flooding," the department states. "We are requesting all persons to pay close attention to road conditions and exercise extreme caution while driving county roads. Thank you for your assistance. Questions or concerns, or notifications of roads may be addressed to Walon Jones or Gordon Beevers at (575) 762-1501."
The National Weather Service in Albuquerque issued a tornado warning Wednesday night for Curry and Quay counties, and media reports said at least one tornado touched down in Curry County, moving close to Grady and Broadview and north of Clovis. A strong tornado reportedly passed over Highway 209 north of Clovis but weakened before it moved into the town. Two-inch hail was also reported in the area.
In a post on Facebook Wednesday night, the Clovis Police Department said Clovis police, fire, and EMS units were working to answer all calls for service coming into their Dispatch Center.
"Because of this weather event, there are power lines down, trees down, lights damaged and large amounts of flooding," the post said. "If an area looks flooded, DO NOT drive into it. Be careful around the areas of town known to flood, please don't endanger yourselves or others. Take care of each other, try to stay dry and warm."
The New Mexico and Texas Panhandle areas have had multiple severe storms move through the area over the past several days, and more severe weather was possible Thursday evening.
This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Storms damage Xcel Energy power line, impact New Mexico customers