ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Two days after what PNM says was the worst outage it's experienced in 25 years , the utility company says it still has nearly 3,000 customers without power and it will likely take a few more days to get everyone back online.
As of Sunday night, PNM said about 2,700 customers were still without power. While crews have made big progress, they are now basically working one home at a time because of the level of damage.
South Valley residents Lynn and Lloyd Talbot have been without power since Friday night. The couple says it is hard to understand why.
"I've lived here all my life and it's always gone out and within a couple hours its been on," said Lynn Talbot.
Two days later, the couple is running off of one generator and says it hasn't been easy.
"We didn't have our phones for a while, that's really terrible when you don't have a phone," said Lynn.
The Talbots say the outage response has also been tough to handle because many of the restoration times have been pushed back.
"It's disappointing too when they tell you its going to be put on at a certain time and that time goes by," said Lynn.
PNM said Friday's storm has been a learning experience for many, including the utility company.
"The understanding I have is that it goes back to 1988 since we've seen something of this magnitude," said Aubrey Johnson, vice president of New Mexico operations for PNM.
PNM says crews have been focusing on the biggest lines first because they feed the small ones. Homes without power now are mostly on lines where service goes to just one or two homes making the work individual.
"We're having to get in customers backyards, we're having access issues to backyards, we have trees and lines and different things along those lines. We have to climb around trees to get up poles and all of those things are really exacerbating the time it takes for us to restore power," said Johnson.
While the work is progressing, PNM says it's still slow going and will likely be a couple days until everyone is restored. While crews work, the utility is asking for continued patience.
"We are aware of the situation, we're doing everything we can we're bringing in additional crews. Our guy on average are working 16 to 18 hours in a lot of cases," said Johnson.
PNM says about 90 percent of the more than 30,000 customers that lost power on Friday now have power restored. It's hoping to have 95 percent restored by the end of Monday.
The utility says this is also the first time it has had to call for outside help in 25 years. Collectively, about eight extra crews are helping from Farmington, El Paso, Texas and Tucson, Ariz.
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