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Scattered outages amid heat wave, virus pandemic challenges El Paso Electric crews

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KVIA
El Paso Electric work crews are seen arriving at the location of a power outage in this file photo.

EL PASO, Texas -- An El Paso Electric official said Saturday the utility understands the frustration of customers after two days of outages amid the worst heat stretch in over a quarter century that left thousands without power during a time of pandemic.

Unfortunately for both customers and work crews, El Paso Electric's Community Engagement Manager George De La Torre said he "expects outages to continue as the heat wave continues." And that means "crews won't stop working until power is restored to all customers."

Due to the extremely high temperatures, which resulted in the National Weather Service issuing an Excessive Heat Warning for El Paso for the first time in almost three decades, there have been approximately 180 outages in the past two days. While some saw their power restored within an hour, a few had their outages last up to 12 hours.

"Summer is our busiest time of year for outages," De La Torre explained, "and sustained extreme hot weather does not allow for equipment to cool overnight. This issue causes a strain on the system." Nighttime temperatures only dropped into the 90s after reaching nearly 110 degrees for the past two days.

In addition to the strain on the utility company's equipment, the excessive heat is also posing a challenge for electrical crews going from one outage scene to another as they try to restore power both quickly and safely.

"We're also dealing with a (coronavirus) pandemic and ensuring the health and safety of our customers and crews," said De La Torre. "This is why we are asking (the crews) to take breaks to avoid heat exhaustion and drink plenty of fluids."

Those crews have been kept busy for two straight-days.

Over 1,000 El Pasoans scattered around the city found themselves without electricity Friday - and thus lacking refrigerated air or other cooling methods. This followed several thousand homes and businesses in portions of west and far east El Paso experiencing similar situations on Thursday.

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Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Comments

21 Comments

  1. Lacking refrigerated air? Still lots of houses in the area with swamp coolers. KVIA reporters need to get off their rear ends and actually go look.

        1. How sad for trump2020. Another self loathing Hispanic. You sound suspiciously like Ferocious2A. May I remind you August 3 is approaching so let’s keep that in mind that trump’s anti Mexican rhetoric influenced the shooter to slaughter 23 El Pasoans so sorry if I am not a fan of trompas. #boycottgoya

          1. Maybe it’s all those electric cars sapping the system. lmao. Sustainable energy my eye. The coal and natural gas operated systems will save us in the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter. Solar and wind energy will NEVER produce the kind of energy that this world needs in order to function.

          2. Daniel Flores stepping in for psycho Alberto. Changing shifts schizo nut job? But oh wait ….he is that dumbass. Whoever he is he’s not me moron. My mother isn’t Mexican. Stocking up on Goya products. The CEO is a good man. #buygoya

    1. So is solar and wind as a major provider of energy. Too many people with too many power needs for it to be reliable. Drill more and drill deeper.

          1. Its over for the most part. We need only lubricants and for the temporary future we need jet fuel. Other than that oil is over.

          2. I wasn’t asking for your opinion. I was stating a fact. You are wrong. Oil isn’t going anywhere. I’m telling you from first hand knowledge, unlike the voices in your head that tell you to vomit nonsense all day.

      1. Wind and solar are here to stay. They don’t put CO2 into the atmosphere. We have no choice anymore. The nearest possibly habitable planet is 3 billion light years away. We can’t get there with current technology.

  2. It’s July. It’s hot. No shit. It’s a cut and paste story from years past. It’s always hot here in the summer. Only difference this year is the coronavirus isn’t going away in the heat, like Trump said it would. Then again, our president doesn’t understand science. Don’t believe me? In New Hampshire on Feb 10 he said (and I quote) “when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.” I’m not worried about the heat. I’m worried about that stupid mother fucker more worried about the election than +130,000 dead. Gov. Abbott at least admits he was wrong and is trying to do something. That’s a leader. That stupid mother fucker in DC wouldn’t know leadership if his bj’s from hookers depended on it.

    1. Steve on Resler getting more loco. It’s not the heat. It’s too much booze. I guess this means you will vote for dementia Joe Biden. LMAO. That is to be expected since you are a flaming libtard formerly a RINO. BTW – You should get some medical help for your TDS and wash your foul mouth out with antibacterial soap. Happy TDS moron.

  3. With the 88 million plus profits the electric company can’t get it right? All these outages are a set up for a very near future price hike. “Improvements”. Old business trick.

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