East Mountains plagued by power outages, surges for years

TIJERAS, N.M. (KRQE) – The constant power surges and outages have been an ongoing issue for years according to East Mountain resident Robert Berry.

“It’s frustrating,” he said when talking about the daily issues he and his wife have to deal with.

Berry said it all started in 2012, “It would be just a blip, sometimes the power would go off for anywhere from a minute to several hours.” That means resetting clocks, and sometimes burned out appliances.

“They were happening several times a day,” said Berry who called PNM and then filed a formal complaint with the Public Regulation Commission and kept logs of the outages and surges he was experiencing.

“In 2014, two years later, after many conversations and emails, they said, we’re sorry,” said Berry.

But four years after the start of it all, the issues remain. Berry has grown active on a social media webpage for his neighborhood. After posting what he’d been dealing with for years, he said his inbox began to fill up with messages from his neighbors with the same issues.

On top of the constant surges and outages that last sometimes for hours, PNM recently enacted an eight to 10 percent rate hike.

“People have kept a sense of humor through this but they’re losing their patience,” said Berry.

On Friday, a spokesperson for PNM said they’re working on it.

“For about the last week and a half, we have had a full-time crew out there,” said Dan Ware the Corporate Communications Representative for PNM.

Ware said they are looking at everything.

“Systematically going through every piece of equipment, every power line.”

So far he said improvements have been made, “but we’re still not quite there yet, we still don’t have the route cause.”

Ware also said they have identified some issues caused by lightning and downed branches, and the area has 62 worth of overhead power lines.

Ware said the problem will be worked on until it is fixed.

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