PNM half-second widespread outage blamed on vandals

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – PNM’s latest power outage was widespread.  It only lasted for half a second, but it affected thousands of New Mexicans. The cause for concern is that the outage was criminal.

“Our equipment was able to get power back online and kind of shift power around almost instantly,” said PNM spokesperson Meaghan Cavanaugh.

Saturday night around 11:45, PNM was monitoring an Albuquerque substation remotely through surveillance recordings. Suddenly, trouble showed up on camera.

“APD responded quickly, and we’ve been working with them continuously,” Cavanaugh said.

The vandal or vandals were gone from the substation.

“We just know it was vandalism that caused some damage to equipment,” Cavanaugh said.

The small power bump affected a big area.

“It was a pretty widespread area from Santa Fe through multiple areas, Placitas, Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, into the East Mountains, Los Lunas and Belen,” she explained.

The decision to mess with a substation could have been deadly.

“Entering, trespassing or damaging any of our equipment or facilities is a crime, but it’s also extremely dangerous because our facilities are highly energized. Electricity is extremely dangerous,” Cavanaugh said.

“We will continue to assist police with the investigation and expect to vigorously pursue prosecution of any suspects,” the company said in a news release.

Cavanaugh did not have the Albuquerque location of the substation available for release late Tuesday afternoon.

The Albuquerque Police Department did not have further information available for release or surveillance images to release by deadline.

PNM has partnered with Crime Stoppers to offer a $1,000 reward for information leading to any suspect arrests. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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