UPDATE 9:45 AM Tuesday: AEP reports power has returned to 88% of customers who were affected by the storm over the weekend. There are still approximately 900 people still without power.
UPDATE 2:45 AM Tuesday: Power has returned to Fort Davis
UPDATE 4:15 PM Monday: Residents of Marfa TX rejoin the power grid. As do residents of Presidio and Marathon. Fort Davis still without power. Same with outlying areas of Alpine: Sunny Glen, Calamity Creek, and surrounding ranches.
“We don’t have any good ETA’s on anything right now,” said Fred Hernandez of AEP Texas at 2:30 PM on Monday, November 25.
He was describing when power might be restored following the winter ice storm that plunged several cities of Far West Texas into darkness over the weekend. “We don’t have a good prognosis for you.”
“Fort Davis and Valentine has been out of power for 58 hours, and Marathon, too,” Hernandez told KRTS News on Monday afternoon.
Those without electrical power included Marfa, Fort Davis, Valentine, Marathon, and parts of Presidio, as well as the Calamity Creek, Country Club Estates, and Sunny Glen neighborhoods outside of Alpine. The city of Presidio was at roughly 70 percent power coverage, drawing some from power reserves and the rest from northern Mexico. The giant battery in Presidio ran 14 hours before it drained Monday morning at 10 AM.
The city of Alpine had electrical power, though officials were asking residents to conserve water, since it impacted outlying areas such as Sunny Glen.
As much as three inches of ice had weighted down the electrical wires between utility poles. Several poles between the Alamito and Barillo electrical substations in the Pasiano Pass were snapped like twigs on the ground.
“We have about 100 employees and contractors in the area,” said Hernandez, “working on all the fronts.” The break in the weather on Monday allowed them to fly a plane to take an aerial view of the utility lines to better understand where to concentrate their resources.
AEP attempted a fix on the “138” trunkline into the Alamito Creek substation at 11 AM on Monday, but the repair didn’t hold. “We fix one thing and two other things break,” Hernandez complained.