Neighbors: El Paso Electric Dropped The Ball

POSTED: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 5:41pm

UPDATED: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 1:25pm

EL PASO - Some people in a Northeast El Paso neighborhood say El Paso Electric dropped the ball. They say they were without power for more than 8 hours during the winter storm.

"On the coldest day of the year [power] was out from 7:52 in the morning, and it didn't come on until 6 o'clock last night," Scott Delisser said. "Thank God for firewood or we would have been in big trouble."

Firewood saved many of the neighbors from freezing temperatures. That's because the neighborhood's power was completely out for nearly an entire day while most of the Borderland only experienced rolling blackouts.

That had at least two neighbors calling El Paso Electric.

"I got their voice machine and they asked me to leave my phone number and my name, which I did, and they [said they] would call us back to let us know what was going on," Bill Gilbert said.

"I finally got through and talked to a person. They said our grid was up and going. I walked outside and got several neighbors to confirm their power was off. The guy told me to check my breakers, which I'm no dummy, I went and checked the breakers. We had no power," Delisser said.

Neighbors say they called us, and they say after we called El Paso Electric directly their power was restored. Now they're left wondering why they were left in the dark on one of the coldest day in history.

"The employees that were out there working in the wind and the cold, I appreciate the work they did to get the power up. I'm real disappointed at the from a management perspective that they didn't plan to do their maintenance properly or prepare for this," Gilbert said.

Neighbors say they now hope El Paso Electric will be better prepared for when the Borderland is hit with another winter storm.

"I think they will. I mean they have to or they're going to have a lot of pissed off customers," Delisser said.

El Paso Electric has been working hard to make sure all power wasn't lost. A spokesperson for the company told us the neighbors were not part of the rolling blackout, but they have not told us what caused power in the Northeast neighborhood to be shut off.

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El Paso, Ft Worth, Houston, Dallas, New Mexico etc etc etc. Nobody was prepared for a storm of this magnitude. If any weather man can predict how bad this storm was really going to be, he or she could be a millionaire. Come on people, other cities have been without electricity for DAYS!

I don't understand how the spokesperson could say that they were not prepared for this. I understand that El Paso doesn't get this type of weather often but as a basic business practice the CEO has a responsibility to ensure that he looks at every possible outcome. This is a basic business practice this is being missed - I would not be shocked to hear anything now.

I agree...I have friends that work there and let me tell you that place spends ALOT of our their money on unnecessary expenses!!! A private audit would show the public just how the money is spent and beleive me they wouldn't need to ask the public for more money for at least 10 years!

I drove around the east side today and was astonished at the huge area of that was included in the blackout, Then I made my way to the west side and noticed the STAR WAS STILL LIT! How is that possible?!?

EPE should have been prepared for this. If they spent more of OUR money on maintenance and equipment instead of CEO bonuses, this fiasco would not have happened!

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