UPDATE: 5/15 4:45 P.M.:
Xcel finished installing 130 poles since they began their restoration work on Tuesday. They've re-energized the distribution grid in the fire-affected area.
The company estimates around 137 residences were in good enough condition to receive power, and those have mostly been restored. They will continue working to set temporary services at locations per customer requests where the homes have been badly damanged or destroyed.
UPDATE: 5/14 3 P.M.:
Xcel restoration crews were able to replace 65 poles yesterday without injury or incident, and they expect to have 118 poles replaced by the day's end today. The 118 poles replaced is the estimated amount needed to get the distribution backbone up and running in the lake communities affected by the fire. From that point, Xcel will move house to house restoring power.
Xcel and its crews are appreciative of the surrounding communites. Frank Phillips College in Borger has offered to house the restoration crews at no cost. Walmart in Borger provided snacks, water and Gatorade to Xcel employees. The Assembly of God Church in Fritch invited crews to a meal Thursday evening.
"This tragic situation has brought out the best in Panhandle people. We??re honored to serve in this region, and humbled by the outpouring of support," said Xcel Energy's Wes Reeves.
Approximately 100 Xcel Energy restoration personnel from the Texas and New Mexico communities of Amarillo, Dumas, Pampa, Lubbock, Littlefield, Plainview, Hobbs, Carlsbad, Roswell, Clovis and Tucumcari were staged on Monday to begin electricity restoration in Fritch today.
Late Monday, personnel from Xcel Energy??s distribution design offices identified portions of the system that were intact, and service personnel restored power to about 47 customers at 6 p.m. The assessor teams also determined that an additional 136 locations will be able to receive power, which will require the reconstruction of 118 poles as well as the conductor.
Xcel Energy??s Customer Care will be working with local officials to determine locations that are not able to accept power at this time and will be taking appropriate steps to discontinue billing. Any customers with questions should contact Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-4999.