Xcel Energy reported as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 1,600 customers in Levelland were without power but that those numbers were going up and down.
“Mostly what we’re seeing is damage to lines and structures brought on by heavy icing,” said Wes Reeves, public relations for Xcel Energy.
He said the lines are being weighed down and are often “galloping” in the wind and damaging the structures, or sometimes the lines are contacting other lines.
Additionally, Reeves said Xcel has had a mixture of large outages caused by the loss of transmission service and faults on large distribution feeders.
“We’ve had a mixture of large outages caused by the loss of transmission service or faults on large distribution feeders along the individual service outages caused by icing on the service line or ice-laden tree branches,” Reeves said.
In all, Reeves said Xcel has had more than 20,000 Texas customers affected, mostly in areas east and northeast of Lubbock.
“But, we’ve had issues across the wider area,” Reeves said.
Reeves said Xcel Energy has called in crews from New Mexico where there aren’t many outages, and also requested assistance from its Colorado service territory.
“We expect to be working these outages all day today and into the night, with some possibly tomorrow,” Reeves said.
Levelland ISD announced Wednesday that Levelland High School was without electricity and released at 2 p.m.
Tuesday night, Lamb County Electric Cooperative said members in the Levelland and Whitharral areas, along with areas south of Anton, had reported outages.
Their post on Facebook said “Xcel has dropped us in our Levelland, Whitharral, Opdyke, and Hodge substations. This is out of our control, but they are working diligently to get it restored.”
An hour later, the co-op said Whitharral and Levelland substations had been restored but that the Hodge substation would take longer.
Wednesday morning, the cooperative posted on Facebook that as Tuesday evening progressed, the company began seeing issues all across their system.
“It is impossible to keep up, plus all of my informants are concentrating on getting power restored,” the post read. “So, this being said, just rest assured we are working very diligently, but safely, to make progress in this.”
The company referenced bad road conditions as well as staffing issues due to illness, mainly COVID.
Reeves confirmed that the numbers provided do include customers affected by the outages at Lamb County Electric substations.