Xcel Energy prepares for high winds tomorrow in Amarillo

VIDEO: Xcel Energy plans for high winds
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 10:07 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2023 at 10:17 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -Xcel Energy is ensuring it has the right resources for the high winds here in Amarillo, while briefing their personnel on safety matters.

Preparation includes staff meetings on safety protocols, and making sure equipment available.

Xcel Energy even has its own meteorologist who is constantly monitoring wind speeds to see when and where they need resources.

“The big thing is resources, tools and supplies; so if we start seeing damaging winds that are taking out poles or cross arms, we need to have a ready supply of replacement parts,” says Wes Reeves, Xcel Energy Spokesman.

“If we can pinpoint that the Panhandle is going to be more affected than the south plains region, we can move some of our resources into that affected area ahead of time,” says Reeves.

NewsChannel 10′s very own First Alert Meteorologist, Kevin Selle says the cloud cover is what helped us today. However, starting February 22, we are supposed to have more sunshine, which means the winds will pick up at high speeds.

“When you get above 70 miles per hour and even close toward 80, there’s little that can withstand that kind of punishment,” says Selle.

Xcel Energy’s staff and crew members go over safety protocols every day with regularly scheduled safety meetings.

“Before any type of big event like this, they’re gonna get together and go over the same rules over and over and it’s things that they’ve heard before, but what we’ve learned with safety, you just keep talking about it,” says Reeves.

When working around power lines, Reeves says you should always assume they are live. Personnel wears fire retardant clothes and gloves that can’t have even the tiniest hole in them.

“We’re very cognizant of not only what they’re doing with their hands, but, what they’re wearing and is everything tucked in buttoned and everything just right so that’s very important when you have the potential of live electricity,” says Reeves.

Xcel Energy says depending on how tomorrow goes, there is the possibility of them being asked by firefighters and authorities to purposely cut off the power in certain areas for safety purposes.

Wes Reeves say they will approach the outages that affect the most people first.

If your power does go out call (800) 895 4999 or report it on the mobile app.