Reporting an Outage
When you experience a power outage you want your service restored as quickly as possible. So do we. To help us restore service as quickly and efficiently as possible it's important that you notify us.
Call or report online:
Click here to report an outage online
575-396-3631 Option 2
Log in to SmartHub on your computer or on your device
How to set up SmartHub (Click Here)
Before you report the outage
Before calling us to report a power outage, please help us determine if the service problem exists within your home's electrical system or on our system.
Check to see if your neighbors have power. If your neighbors are also out of power, report the outage. If your neighbors have power or if you cannot determine whether they have power:
Check for a blown fuse or open circuit breaker in your own equipment.
If you determined through steps one and two that the outage is not a problem with your electric system, report the outage by calling 575-396-3631 Option 2.
Reporting the outage
When you call in, the Outage Reporting System should recognize your phone number using the caller identification code provided by the phone company. If the system does not recognize your number, please leave a message and provide your name, a phone number where you can be reached and your service map location number.
It is very important that you keep your telephone number current with us, so we may serve you better. Also, the service map location number on the front of your bill helps our crews locate you through our mapping system.
High-Volume Call Answering System
Our high-volume automated call answering system helps relay problems to our staff quickly and effectively during major interruptions. This system helps us pinpoint issues during major events which allows us to more efficiently dispatch crews. Although the automated system can be frustrating at times, it allows us to take a high volume of calls in a short amount of time. We, as would you, prefer direct contact during outage situations. However, during periods of high call volume, our automated system collects outage information thereby allowing LCEC staff to focus on restoring your power.
What to do next?
After you've reported the outage:
Turn off all electrical appliances that were on when service was disrupted, leaving a lamp on so you'll know when power is restored.
Turn circuit breakers to major appliances (like your stove) to the "off" position.
To help preserve food, leave the doors to your refrigerator and freezer closed.
Once power is restored, avoid overloading by turning appliances back on in 15-minute intervals.
When you call LCEC to report an outage, your outage information and any damage you report is entered into our outage management system. This information is reviewed and summarized along with information from other members who've reported outages. This helps us to map and pinpoint the trouble areas and efficiently dispatch repair crews.
Most of the time that your power goes out we are able to restore it within a few hours. But when a major storm causes widespread damage, longer outages may result. Co-op line crews work long, hard hours to restore service safely to the greatest number of members in the shortest time possible. Here’s what’s going on if you find yourself in the dark.
1. High-Voltage Transmission Lines
Transmission towers and cables that supply power to transmission substations (and thousands of consumers) rarely fail. But when damage occurs, these facilities must be repaired before other parts of the system can operate.
2. Distribution Substation
Each substation serves hundreds or thousands of consumers. When a major outage occurs, line crews inspect substations to determine if problems stem from transmission lines feeding into the substation, the substation itself, or if problems exist down the line.
3. Main Distribution Lines
If the problem cannot be isolated at a distribution substation, distribution lines are checked. These lines carry power to large groups of consumers in communities or housing developments. SAFETY TIP: If a power line falls across or near your vehicle while you are in it, stay inside until help arrives!
4. Tap Lines
If local outages persist, supply lines, called tap lines, are inspected. These lines deliver power to transformers, either mounted on poles or placed on pads for underground service, outside businesses, schools, and homes.
5. Individual Homes
If your home remains without power, the service line between a transformer and your residence may need to be repaired. Always call to report an outage to help line crews isolate these local issues.
We begin our restoration at the point where the power feeds into LCEC's system. This could be on a transmission line, at a substation or on a main distribution line. After these have been repaired, the crews then work on remaining outage problems. Crews correct the trouble in areas that serve the greatest number of members first and work until electricity is restored to each member's home.
Power outages can cause a variety of safety concerns for a variety of people. The following tips will help keep you and your family safe.
Downed Power Line Safety
If you see a downed power line, move away from the line and anything touching it.
The proper way to move away from the line is to shuffle with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock. Electricity wants to move from a high voltage zone to a low voltage one—and it could do that through your body.
If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with the downed line, do not touch the person. You could become the next victim. Call 911 instead.
Do not attempt to move a downed power line or anything in contact with the line by using another object such as a broom or stick. Even normally non-conductive materials like wood or cloth, if slightly wet, can conduct electricity and electrocute you.
Be careful not to put your feet near water where a downed power line is located.
Do not drive over downed lines.
If you are in a vehicle that is in contact with a downed line, stay in the vehicle. Honk your horn for help and tell others to stay away from your vehicle.
If you must leave your vehicle because it’s on fire, jump out of the vehicle with both feet together and avoid making contact with the energized vehicle and the ground at the same time. This way you avoid being the path of electricity from the vehicle to the earth.
Plan ahead. Just as you have an emergency plan for fires and weather events like tornadoes, form an action plan for lightning. Choose a safe shelter, and time how long it takes to get there.
Check the weather. A simple forecast can tell you whether you should delay outdoor activities to avoid a dangerous situation.
Look to the sky. Dark skies, whipping winds, and lightning flashes are all signs that you should seek shelter.
Seek shelter. As soon as you hear a rumble of thunder, head for a safe place—an enclosed structure, one with plumbing and wiring is best, or a car. Open-air shelters, sheds, and covered porches are often not safe places. Avoid tall trees that stand alone, towers, and poles, as well as metal fences and other conductors of electricity. And keep out of open areas, so that you’re not the tallest object in a field.
Wait it out. Leaving safe shelter too quickly makes you vulnerable to lightning strikes. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before you head back outdoors.
Avoid corded phones and appliances. If you’re indoors when a storm hits, do not use corded phones or appliances. Lightning can travel through your home’s wiring. Also, water is a great conductor of electricity, so don’t take a bath or shower.
If someone near you has been struck by lightning, call 911 immediately. A certified person should begin CPR right away if necessary—the victim will not have an electric charge and is safe to touch.
For more information on how to stay safe in a lightning storm, visit www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.
Thunderstorm & Tornado Safety
Prepare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged tree limbs.
Listen to local news or National Weather Service broadcasts to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings.
If in a mobile home, immediately head to a sturdy shelter or vehicle. Mobile homes, especially hallways and bathrooms, are not safe places to take shelter during tornadoes or other severe winds.
Designate a family meeting place for shelter during and after a storm. If possible, go to your home’s basement, a small interior room, or under stairs on the lowest level. Also, have a battery-operated weather radio handy along with emergency supplies.
Unplug your electronics. Avoid using electrical equipment and corded telephones.
Remember that there is no safe place outside during a severe storm. If you are caught in a storm while on the road, the American Red Cross urges drivers to turn their headlights on, try to safely exit the roadway, and park. Stay in the vehicle with your seat belt on and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. If thunder and lightning is occurring, avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.
Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
Stay safe after a storm. Remain indoors at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder. Also, stay away from downed power lines and avoid flooded areas, power lines could be submerged and still live with electricity.
Learn more about storm safety at http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/thunderstorms/
Generators are a great source of back-up power when the electricity goes out but can be dangerous if not used properly. Follow the provided tips and keep your family safe during an outage:
Keep your generator outside and away from doors, windows and vents.
Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Turn off your generator and let cool down before refueling.
Keeping Food Safe During an Outage
The electricity just went out and your refrigerator is packed with food. The following tips are provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and will help ensure your food is safe during and after a power outage. You should:
Never taste the food to determine its safety.
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed to maintain a cold temperature (a full refrigerator will keep food cold for four hours and a full freezer will hold a safe temperature for 48 hours).
Obtain dry ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer cold if power is expected to be out for a long time.
Check the temperature of your freezer with an appliance thermometer if the power has been out for a few days (food should be at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below).
Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items after four hours without power.
Unfortunately power outages are inevitable during major storms and being prepared will help keep you and your family safe.
During an outage our crews work hard to restore your power. But it is possible, in extreme situations, for members to be without power for extended amounts of time. So it's always best to plan ahead when a storm is coming and be prepared!
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Styrofoam coolers to preserve food.
Water -- one gallon per person, per day.
Ice to keep food cold.
Food -- non-perishable, easy-to-prepare.
Battery or hand-crank radio.
Sanitation and personal hygiene items.
First aid supplies.
Seven-day supply of any needed medications.
Copies of important documents.
Cell phone with charger.
Extra cash. Keep your car's gas tank full.
To learn more about preparing for storms and other emergencies, visit www.redcross.org/domore.
Be a Family with a Plan
Follow these tips to avoid feeling helpless during a disaster.
Communicate. Talk with your family about who to call, where to go, and what to do if disaster strikes.
Educate. Plan different strategies on what to do for different situations. Map out a fire escape route from all areas of your home, and establish a safe place to go during threatening weather. Make sure all family members know their full names, address, and phone numbers. Agree on an out-of-town relative or friend to call if everyone gets separated during a disaster, and have an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact in your cell phone that first responders can call if needed.
Prepare. Set up warning systems in your home—fire detectors and carbon monoxide alarms give advance notice that can save lives. Use a battery-operated weather radio for advance storm warnings, and subscribe to your local Office of Emergency Management alerts by text or e-mail if available. Keep an emergency kit handy that contains five days worth of non-perishable food and water, first aid supplies, a list of phone numbers (including your electric co-op and other utilities’ outage numbers), medicines, and cleaning supplies. Also, plan for pets or any special needs for family members. Then practice your emergency plans.
Keep calm: Think clearly and follow your plan. Use the resources you prepared in case of emergencies.
Emergency phone: Keep a corded landline phone handy in case of emergency. If cell phone batteries die, there’s no way to charge them during a power outage. A landline phone will still work without electricity and become your link to the outside world.
Be patient: Wait for all danger to pass. Never re-enter an evacuated area without permission to do so, and remember to use caution when you do go back into your home—you can’t always see danger, such as a ruptured gas line.
Avoid delayed danger: Do not approach downed wires or power lines, and watch for rising waters. Keep standby generators in well-ventilated areas—never run a generator indoors, even in a garage.
With a little planning, the worst can be avoided during disasters. Visit redcross.org or ready.gov for more disaster planning ideas. Taking the time to be prepared is worth the effort now in case of emergency later.
National Emergency Number
Lovington Police Department
Lovington Fire Department
Tatum Police Deparment
Tatum Fire Department
Yoakum County Sheriff's Department
Plains Fire Department
At one time or another, we’ve all returned home or woken up late for work to see a blinking “12:00” on our digital alarm clock. You then have to reset every digital clock in your household that doesn’t have a battery backup, from the microwave oven to the answering machine. Usually, this state of “eternal midnight” was caused by a “blink” in the electrical system.
While blinks can be annoying, they show that an electrical system is working exactly as designed. And while LCEC has taken steps to reduce the number of blinks across its power system, there are measures you can take as well.
Let’s look at blinks. These momentary power interruptions can occur anywhere along a power system—from the time electrons are generated at a power plant, to being shipped across transmission line to substations, or during distribution from a substation to your home.
Blinks are created when a breaker, or switch, opens along any portion of the power system. The breaker usually opens because of a large, quick rise of electrical current. This large rise, called a fault condition, can occur when a tree branch touches a line, lightning strikes, or a wire breaks.
When this happens, a relay senses the fault and tells the breaker to open, preventing the flow of power to the problem site. After opening, the breaker quickly closes. The brief delay, which allows the fault to clear, usually lasts less than two seconds.
If the fault clears, every home or business that receives electricity off that power line has just experienced a blink. This could include thousands of accounts if the breaker protects a transmission line or a substation.
Reducing the Blink’s Effects
Your co-op employs methods to reduce blink frequency. Tree trimming is probably the easiest and most common way, and one area where you can help. Make sure your co-op knows of any trees or limbs located close to a power line. Call 575-396-3631 to tell LCEC about potential problems.
Meanwhile, you can reduce the frustration of blinks by purchasing an alarm clock equipped with a battery backup. This type of digital clock offers “ride through” ability for momentary outages. It will also keep the correct time and sound an alarm in case of a long-duration outage, provided a charged battery is in place. As an added benefit, these devices only use the battery in the event of a power interruption.
Blinks affect all electrical equipment, not just digital clocks. If there is a blink while you are operating a computer, your computer may crash and you will have to reboot, hoping all the while that there will be few corrupted files.
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) on your computer can help prevent information loss. The UPS incorporates surge suppression technology with a battery backup and provides you some time to save whatever you were working on and exit your computer properly.
The future of blinks
LCEC operates an active system maintenance program and works hard to identify and fix sources of service interruptions. Even though blinks will never disappear from our electrical energy delivery system, by working together with we can minimize effects of the interruptions and the frequency with which they occur.
Power surges are responsible for millions of dollars of property damage each year, and, over time, they can cause cumulative damage while decreasing the lifespan of TVs, computers, stereo equipment, and anything else plugged into a wall outlet. Being educated is the key to choosing the best surge protection for your home.
How Does a Power Surge Cause Damage?
First, what is a surge?
A surge is a boost in the electrical charge over a power line. This can be caused by lightning, but it’s more commonly caused by motor-driven electrical devices, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, that require a lot of energy for starting and stopping compressors. Some surges can also be caused by faulty wiring.
Frequent, small power surges tend to shorten the life of home appliances and electronics. Power surges come in all shapes and sizes—the most extreme case being a lightning strike because it can destroy equipment and sometimes set your house on fire. But less severe power surges are rooted in hundreds of different causes.
The severity of a surge depends not only on the voltage and current involved but how long the event lasts. Most surges are very short in duration. It’s important for people to realize that surges can happen through any connection on your equipment. If there is a wire connected to your equipment, then it provides a path for a surge.
How Can I Protect my Property?
A surge protection device mounted at your home’s main electrical panel or the base of your electric meter protects equipment inside your house or business from surges coming through “ports of entry,” such an outside electric, telephone, and cable TV or satellite dish line.
Point-of-use surge protection devices do not suppress or arrest a surge but divert it to ground. They’re designed to protect your sensitive electronic appliances, like a computer, and resemble a regular plug strip. However, don’t assume your plug strip offers surge protection unless it specifically says so. You can also install special electrical outlets that offer surge protection, which can be helpful in places like kitchen countertops.
One of the most effective ways to protect your property is a two-tiered approach. A service entrance surge protection device reduces power surges to a lower level that protects large appliances, such as your stove or clothes dryer, while point-of-use surge protectors defend your sensitive electronics.
Remember to be cautious when shopping for surge protection equipment. Some items claim that they can save energy, and these claims are generally false. Surge protection is a valuable tool for protecting your home or business but not for saving energy.