TNMP crews to assist Florida utilities with hurricane outages

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TNMP crews worked to restore power after a storm in 2015. (File photo by Steve Southwell)

TEXAS CITY – Twenty-six Texas-New Mexico Power employees departed for Florida Wednesday morning to help restore power outages that are expected due to Hurricane Matthew.

The 14-vehicle convoy that left Texas City includes linemen and support employees from TNMP offices stretching from the Red River to the Gulf Coast and points between, including three from Lewisville. The employees were expected to arrive at their initial staging point in Florida on Thursday evening before beginning work on behalf of Florida Power & Light.

“We’re very familiar with tropical storms and hurricanes,” TNMP president Neal Walker said. “We’ve been the beneficiary of mutual assistance from other utilities and we’re proud to pitch in and help out other companies when their systems are hit.”

The supervisors and many of the foremen and linemen are experienced working safely in post-hurricane environments. TNMP has assisted other utilities on many occasions, including as recently as 2012 with hurricanes Issac and Sandy.

Post-hurricane restoration typically includes replacing distribution poles and transformers, repairing downed lines, running new services to customers and repairing transmission structures.

The working environments can be dangerous due to many causes, making a focus on crew safety a critical consideration.