CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – Southeast New Mexico has been in the triple digits for almost ten days straight. When people are struggling to stay cool, numerous cities have seen multiple power outages over the last five days.
Residents spoke about how they are coping and are looking for answers from the power company. “It always happens at the worst time of the day, where it’s the hottest, and the house just gets so hot, so fast,” said Danielle Waters.
Carlsbad and Hobbs are among the cities in southeast New Mexico that have been suffering from power outages over the past week. “That was when I had come out and warmed up the car, blared the AC and we would just come and sit in the car you know, cause it was the only relief we could get. It was getting too hot on the house, it was just miserable,” said Waters.
Carlsbad residents say the power outages the last couple of days last three hours each. It struck at 3 p.m. when it was well over 100 degrees. Waters says it is happening every summer. “It’s happening every single year regardless, lockdown, no lockdown, school, no school, it’s just every year it’s the same thing,” said Waters.
Xcel Energy said the power outages have been caused by transformers failing because of high usage. “Now we got a lot of people at home that may not normally be at home and this heat is so unprecedented,” said Wes Reeves, New Mexico Public Relations for Xcel Energy.
Xcel said over the past few years they have been working on completely upgrading their system and increase their power capacity in southeastern New Mexico, hopefully preventing overloads and power outages in the future.
“Been working on that for a number of years but we seen such high growth and demand in Carlsbad and Hobbs and Roswell, that some of these areas are going to need more facilities in the future to take care of that,” said Reeves.
Xcel also says usage is up because of the pandemic and more people forced to stay at home. Xcel Energy said they are asking customers to turn up their thermostat a few degrees and to try and do laundry and other chores in the morning, helping keep energy consumption low during the hottest time of the day.