EL PASO, Texas -- Around 4,000 El Paso Electric customers found themselves without power at one point late Monday afternoon as an ongoing heatwave - the worst in a quarter century - continued to take its toll on the Borderland.
The utility company reported a few main outages, including one involving roughly 1,100 customers impacted in northeast El Paso. All had service restored by about 5:30 p.m.
The other major outage involved about 3,000 customers in east El Paso near Lomaland and Interstate 10, most who saw power restored sometime after 7:30 p.m.
By 10 p.m., the company's outage map reflected about 800 customers still in the dark near Fox Plaza, east of downtown. The map can lag in denoting completed repairs until confirmation is received from customers, so it's possible the actual number without power was less than shown.
Officials said electric crews would work until power was restored for all those impacted, but workers handling those repairs also needed to take breaks to avoid heat illnesses.
Unfortunately, the utility company said El Pasoans can expect to see periodic outages as long as the extreme hot weather remains a factor.
"Sustained demand during extreme sustained hot weather doesn't allow equipment time to cool overnight, causing the equipment to overheat and (become) damaged - (in turn) causing outages," said El Paso Electric spokesman George De La Torre.