NEW MEXICO (KRQE) - Gas and electric companies across New Mexico are encountering issues this week due to the extreme cold and increased demand for heat. If you have questions, call New Mexico Gas Company at 1-888-664-2726.
Below are news releases, statements and updates related to the energy emergency:
- The state is assisting the communities of Ruidoso, Cloudcroft and Timberon with water restoration efforts in municipal pipelines that were impacted by last week's blast of arctic air that caused a massive natural gas outage. Personnel from the Department of Homeland Security, the New Mexico National Guard, State Forestry and local fire, police, water utility, planning and zoning are continuing work this weekend to restore services to residents and businesses in the affected communities.
- RUIDOSO-30 members of the National Guard Engineering Company from Roswell are providing valuable and needed assistance to local officials. As of this morning 2 of the zones in the upper canyon have been restored and work on zones 3 and 4 is underway. There are 1900 homes still without water.
- TIMBERON-Water mains are up and there are only 2 customers without water. The water utility is working on this.
- CLOUDCROFT-All water mains and service to water meters has been restored.
- BONITA PIPELINE-The pipeline that carries water from Bonita Lake to Alamogordo has been impacted and efforts are underway to restore service.
- The New Mexico Environment Department has issued a precautionary boil water advisory for all communities impacted by the outage. Boil water for 5 minutes before drinking, cooking and washing dishes. Drink bottled water if possible.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development; Contact: Terry Brunner, State Director; Phone: 505-761-4950; Email: email@example.com.
USDA-Rural Development has a home loan and grant program to help offset the cost of home repairs, including heating and water systems. The program is available to very low-income residents who own and occupy a home in need of repairs. Rural Development also has resources available to support water systems, such as municipal systems and mutual domestic water associations, in communities of 10,000 or less. These water systems can apply for USDA's regular loans and grants or Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants if they have current environmental and engineering documents. Communities with populations less than 20,000 can also apply for USDA loans and grants to repair community infrastructure damaged by the storm.
- USDA-Farm Service Agency; Contact: Salomon Ramirez, State Director; Phone: 505-761-4900; Toll-Free 800-410-2067; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA's Farm Service Agency has resources available through its Livestock Indemnity Program to assist livestock producers who lost livestock as a result of the storms.
- U.S. Housing and Urban Development; Contact: Frank Padilla; Phone: 505-346-7271.
Housing and Urban Development offers assistance to public entities to administer housing assistance programs and community development block grants. HUD also announced today a $200,000 grant for Northern New Mexico public bodies to assist with home repairs.
- Small Business Administration; Contact: John Woosley, District Director; Phone: 505-248-8225. Small Business Administration can provide counseling and assistance to small businesses affected by the storm and seeking information – including loans, bonds and other financial assistance.
- New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority; Contact: Joseph Montoya, Deputy Director of Programs; Phone: 505-843-6880. The Mortgage Finance Authority can provide a range of resources to residents affected by the storm.The homeowner rehabilitation program provides assistance to low-income homeowners who lack the resources to make necessary repairs to their homes. Assistance can be used for reimbursement of costs for rehabilitation, which includes the following: applicable codes, standards or ordinances, rehabilitation standards, essential improvements, energy-related improvements, lead-based paint hazard reduction, accessibility for disabled persons, repair or replacement of major housing systems, incipient repairs and general property improvements of a non-luxury nature, site improvements and utility connections.
- FEMA to start assessing the damage - FEMA will begin assessing damage from the New Mexico gas crisis starting on Friday, Feb. 11. The FEMA team will see if the impact is bad enough to be eligible for federal aid. If the damage to public infrastructure and individual homes exceeds $2.5 million, the president could declare a federal disaster, which wuold free up federal funds.
- Gov. Martinez signs executive order - Governor Susana Martinez signed an executive order freezing $750,000 in state emergency funds. It will be used to cover up state and local responses to the natural gas outage.
- Gas outages in Taos update - As of Wednesday morning, all homes and businesses
- in Taos County have been canvassed by teams of technicians and Guardsmen or emergency responders. Natural gas has been restored to all customers with the exception of a small number of homes where residents have not been present at the time of canvassing. As of Wednesday, 85 teams have been tasked with performing safety checks on all meters throughout the community, including those that were self-lit by residents. Field crews are also staged at the Taos Walmart parking lot and will follow any residents needing assistance to their homes to ensure their systems have been lit correctly. Anyone who has not had their service restored should contact the New Mexico Gas Company at 1-888-664-2726 or (505) 697-3335. The Taos Emergency Operations Command Center will continue to operate the phone center until noon on Wednesday, and can be reached at (575) 751-8123.
- Kit Carson Electric in Taos update - An electric outage in the La Loma/Valverde areas, including some classrooms at Enos Garcia Elementary School, will occur today at 3 p.m., due to a system upgrade. This outage should last approximate 30-minutes, affecting an estimated 100 service locations. Kit Carson Electric indicates they need to be prepared for the added loads that have occurred due to the natural gas outage. KCEC Collections have been suspended this week. No meters will be disconnected.
- Mayor Richard J. Berry commits more resources to Northern New Mexico - Fourteen Albuquerque firefighters joined restoration efforts today to help turn on natural gas to thousands of Espanola residents. The firefighters joined 44 Albuquerque police officers who arrived in Espanola Monday evening and worked through the night to help restore gas service which has been out for more than a week. The 58 Albuquerque public safety employees were requested by Governor Susana Martinez. "We are committed to helping our neighbors to the north," Mayor Berry said. "We are more than happy to help the Governor with whatever resources the state needs." AFD's Incident Support Team arrived in Espanola at 6:30 a.m. and were briefed by the New Mexico National Guard. The firefighters will be working throughout the day to restore natural gas. "Our firefighters have answered the Governor's call and we are more than happy to help," Fire Chief James Breen said. "We will work until the job is done." APD's Emergency Response Team worked throughout the night to help restore gas service. The officers were instructed to work around the clock and will be in Espanola until service is restored.
- Resolve to be ready for more winter weather - After weathering recent winter storms, people in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico are encouraged to prepare now for another round of snow and ice. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Region 6 office is continuing to work with all of those states to help them recover from the last round of storms and get ready for the upcoming inclement weather. At the request of state officials, FEMA has pre-positioned some supplies and located liaison officers in Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico to help with emergency response coordination and other needs. "We will continue to be proactive, making sure to support our state partners," said FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Russell. "We also urge you to get ready - have a plan, put together an emergency kit and stay informed by listening to your local officials for instructions and updated emergency information." Tools and resources are available online to help you prepare for, respond to and recover from any type of disaster. Visit their website or the Spanish language site.
- New Mexico Gas Company will hold a press conference Tuesday, February 8 at 10 a.m. at New Mexico Gas Company's business center at 7120 Wyoming Blvd NE, Suite 20. The office is located at the northeast corner of Wyoming and Harper, at the eastern end of the Del Norte Shopping Center.
- Governor Susana Martinez announced that she is immediately sending additional National Guard troops and police officers to the communities of Taos and Espanola to expedite the process of restoring natural gas and that the crews will work throughout the night in both communities. The breakdown of additional personnel ordered to the area by Martinez is as follows: 300 National Guard soldiers and airmen, in addition to the 56 currently deployed, 44 Albuquerque Police Department Emergency Response Unit Members, 15 State Police officers Additionally, firefighters from the Albuquerque Fire Department are on stand-by for deployment tomorrow morning, if necessary
- Taos: 26 percent of customers restored
- Espanola: 38 percent of customers restored
- There are more than 550 people working to restore service. "Under federal pipeline safety rules, only a gas-company trained and qualified person is authorized to turn on a gas meter," said CEO of New Mexico Gas Company Annette Gardiner. New Mexico Gas Company is making efforts to restore service
- to all customers as quickly as possible.
- Town of Taos Youth & Family Center will have hot water for their locker room showers for the public by 3 p.m. today, Monday, 2/7/11. They'll stay open today through 7 p.m. Regular hours tomorrow, Tuesday, 2/8/11, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure and bring your own soap, shampoo, towels, etc. The usual $2 pool fee, including locker room access, has been waived by the Town through the end of our natural gas outage situation. http://taosyouth.org/.
- New Mexico Gas Co. Customer Service:575-758-4222 - "Blue Tag" Number if You're Missed by Relighting Crews and need to Reschedule Phone: 888-NM-GAS-CO (888-664-2726) Customer Service Email:email@example.com Customer Service Fax: 505-697-4494
- During this natural gas outage, the unified Taos Emergency Command Center numbers are 575-751-8123 and -8125. However, the relighting process is in the hands of New Mexico Gas Co., so please call them directly on any deployment issues. The Red Cross Taos Shelter will continue to be open at Gusdorf and Camino de Santiago until the current service disruption is completely over. Should you require transportation to this shelter, including ADA compliant service, please call the above numbers. The EOC team will make sure you get to a warm, secure location.
- New Mexico Gas Company will hold a press conference Monday, February 6 at 2:30 p.m. at New Mexico Gas Company's business center at 7120 Wyoming Blvd NE, Suite 20. The office is located at the northeast corner of Wyoming and Harper, at the eastern end of the Del Norte Shopping Center,
- Dr. O'Neill reports that UNM Taos will be closed tomorrow, in addition to Taos Municipal Schools and local Charter Schools.
- Town of Taos Town Hall will be closed tomorrow, but Department Directors will be in with core staff to make sure things are in order for Tuesday reopening to the public. Of course Taos Ski Valley and Chile Line Transportation will be running, along with other essential services.
- Taos County Offices will be open tomorrow with a two hour delay.
- Kit Carson Electric reports all areas are back up with electric power and rebalanced -- including the La Loma/Ranchitos areas. Successful natural gas meter relighting reports are being returned from the La Loma area too.
- Note: When your natural gas meter/regular heat source is relit, PLEASE shut down and unplug all your electric heaters. We want to keep the electric loads as low as possible as activity moves forward.
- Reminder: As you can leave your structure, EOC unified command, with the help of the Raton Fire Dept., Town of Taos and Taos County, has provided a public shower facility at the Town of Taos Public yard on Dea Lane. Hours of operation are today -- be there before 6 p.m. Please bring your own personal bath supplies/towels with you.
- Electricity: Kit Carson Electric is still having issues with certain areas. They are continuing to try and rebalance the system (changing the supply from certain sources to others with less demand). Again, even in areas with electricity "up", you may experience "flickering." They're working on it. As usual, PLEASE shut off any electric devices/appliances that are not absolutely essential.
- New Mexico Gas Company reports that the natural gas supply lines continue be be stable and additional disruptions to natural gas service are not expected.
- New Mexico Gas Company (NMGCO) reports that gas service has been restored to the Southern New Mexico communities of Silver City and La Luz. Work continues in other communities across the state. Re-lighting has begun in Taos and surrounding communities with re-lighting expected to begin in Espanola, and on the Santa Clara, Okway Owingeh and San Ildefonso Pueblos on Sunday.
- NMGCO continues to re-light communities in Southern New Mexico, including Alamogordo and Tularosa. Central New Mexico communities of Bernalillo and Placitas are also currently being re-lit. Updates on the status of restoration service is available from NMGCO online .
- Relighting: Taos natural gas relighting will start this morning at approximately 9 a.m., Sunday, 2/6/11, according to field crew management on the ground here in the Taos area.All structures with natural gas service have been turned off. Between now and 9 a.m., "purging" of the system will occur - noise/a gas smell is part of this process. You need not be concerned about it -- it is part of the process.Taos' residential and business community has been divided into 16 quadrants (approximately equal in customer numbers, but geographically different in size due to this). The meter relighting field crews will be addressing each section simultaneously in a nonstop blitz.
- Someone needs to be present in each structure for the relighting process. If someone is not there, crews will leave a "blue tag" with contact information to call and get back on the relight schedule. The phone number on the blue tag is the New Mexico Gas Co. 24-hour
- Customer Service number. We do not know approximate lag times between the initial relight sweep, and rescheduled relights. Try to have someone present the first circuit.
- Station is up and relit and "critical service relighting" is underway in that community; Arroyo Hondo and Arroyo Seco is nearing completion of turn offs - purging is to happen later today; Taos is still undergoing the turn off of all meters -- this must happen before purging, repressuring and eventual relighting. Note: purging lines results in some noise/gas smell -- don't be alarmed by that -- it is part of "purging"). Your Taos Emergency Command Center will let you know about future actions as SOON as we officially get the information.
- currently have any idea how long this will take or when they'll start working on homes. As soon as we have any idea we will spread the word.
- Saturday and working through Sunday.
- the Roswell Convention and Civic Center and the Roswell Visitors Bureau. In addition, essential and emergency service personnel will continue provide services as scheduled including the Roswell Landfill and Sanitation personnel, City Fire and Police personnel, Water, Streets and Public Works personnel and Central Control. In a press release issued by Governor Martinez on the evening of Feb. 3, the governor is also requesting that all New Mexicans do their part to preserve natural gas resources by turning down thermostats and assisting friends, family and neighbors who are without heat.
- and throughout the state. The most recent information received from the New Mexico Gas Company indicates that the company's pressure is holding in the Albuquerque area, but some cities around the state were still without gas service. Mayor Berry once again thanked the community for pitching in to conserve natural gas at their homes and businesses. "We asked the community to pitch in by taking steps to conserve natural gas and they answered the call. We are extremely grateful for their efforts which we believe have helped significantly to keep the system in Albuquerque steady overnight. We ask that they continue to keep their thermostats dialed down and limit hot water use throughout the day and until the situation has been resolved," said Mayor Berry. There are areas of the state still without gas. The city is prepared to assist displaced New Mexicans at Highland High School, which remains the main location for sheltering through Sunday, on a stand by basis. Residents in affected areas who need shelter should contact 311 or 505-768-2000 to confirm sheltering information. The city Emergency Operations Center will stay activated on a limited basis. All city and county community centers will be open during normal business hours for regularly scheduled activities. Many city employees worked extended hours overnight. Yesterday Water Authority officials received more than 400 reports of water leaks or lack of water due to frozen pipes. People experiencing water emergencies should call the Water Authority at 842-9287 (press option 1). If they cannot get through, they can report the water problems to 311. Citizens are advised to call a plumber for water problems of a non-emergency nature. The Albuquerque Police Department COAST Team members were out on the streets of Albuquerque again last night offering assistance and transportation to shelter for those who needed it.
- calls, five to six times the normal volume. They give the highest priority for service to calls where pipes have burst and homes or businesses are being flooded. In those cases they send someone to turn off the water.
- Plaza Inn $39
- Fairfield Inn $49
- Hampton Inn $69
- Marriott Pyramid $69
- La Qunita Suites Midtown $69
- Holiday Inn Express on 12th Street $69
- for emergencies, and to exercise extreme caution, low speed and plenty of space between vehicles in traffic to minimize collisions. The Doña Ana County Emergency Operations Center has been activated as of 7 a.m. Wednesday to marshal resources as needed throughout the county. Officials encourage people with companion animals to bring them indoors, and to check frequently on elderly and infirm neighbors. The Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority is operating normally to receive both emergency 911 calls and non-emergency calls at (575) 526-0795.
- activated the Emergency Operations Center. Officials are in close contact with gas company representatives and continue to monitor the situation. The mayor and public safety team are in communication with the Governor's Office, State EOC, and other mayors throughout the state as well as other utilities. The gas company has indicated that there is the potential for disruption to 10,000 to 20,000 households and businesses in Albuquerque. The city has contingency plans in place should we experience loss of gas in the Albuquerque Metro Area. During a morning press briefing, Mayor Berry stressed that this is a supply and demand issue. "We are asking everyone to pitch in as New Mexico's largest metro area to alleviate the potential for local outages as well as help our neighboring cities to the North and South," said the mayor. "Let's all work together – let's do our part in Albuquerque and the metro area to help everyone throughout the state."
- are unable to keep up with the high demand for increased power and fuel due to sub-zero temperatures. Activation to this level means additional Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management staff will operate the EOC and coordinate any local requests for assistance. The EOC will also stay in communication with emergency managers in the state in order to anticipate additional problems that may be created by the extremely cold temperatures.
An Albuquerque Police officer involved shooting over the weekend marks the fifth since late October and city officials are taking notice.
A woman was stolen from her daughter's car, a woman who died more than five years ago.
Albuquerque police shot and killed a man Sunday night after responding to an assault call near UNM.
Deputies were led on a chase around 4 p.m. Monday after a person called 911 to report their vehicle had been stolen and was being driven recklessly around Albuquerque.
New Mexico could have hundreds of millions of dollars more to spend as legislators get ready to put together next year's budget in the upcoming legislative session.
Organizers of the Gildan New Mexico Bowl are hoping to shed the disappointing attendance numbers that weighed down the event last year when the Colorado State Rams and the Washington State Cougars face off Dec. 21.