4/12/2011

AEP Texas making significant progress in restoration of electric service to areas impacted by west Texas fires

SAN ANGELO, Texas, April. 12, 2011 – AEP Texas crews have made significant progress in the restoration of electric service to areas impacted by wildfires in west Texas.   As of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, 322 customers remained without power in Jeff Davis County with most of those customers in the Fort Davis area.
 
Restoration of service is anticipated to be 90 percent completed by midnight on Wednesday with service restored to many of those still without power well in advance of that target.   Over 2,100 customers lost electric service for varying amounts of time as a result of the wildfires, which began Saturday afternoon north of Marfa.   Officials estimate that the fire was 60 percent contained as of Tuesday morning.
 
Some 112 AEP Texas employees and contractors are involved in the restoration effort.  AEP Texas has completed the damage assessment of transmission structures and facilities in the area and 95 percent of the distribution poles and facilities.  The fires damaged 135 distribution poles and 59 transmission structures.
 
Crews continue to focus on repairs to the Alpine to Barrilla Junction transmission line today, as well as repair of damage to distribution poles in the Fort Davis area.  On Monday afternoon, the Forestry Service coordinating the firefighting efforts instructed AEP Texas to stand ready to de-energize the Alpine to Barrillo Junction line if the fire moved too close to the line; however, the Forestry Service rescinded that instruction late Monday evening.   As part of its efforts to repair damage from the fire, AEP Texas took a section of the transmission line between the Barrilla Junction Substation and the Rio Grande Electric Coop substation offline Monday evening.  Those repairs were completed and service to customers in the Marathon area and the coop was restored within an hour and a half.
 
To report an outage or downed power line, please call (866) 223-8508.  Please consider any downed power lines extremely dangerous. 
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Larry Jones
AEP Texas Corporate Communications
(512) 391-2970 - Office
(512) 203-2970 - Cell