AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — With the threat of what city of Amarillo officials are calling “extremely strong winds” expected to be in the region Wednesday, Xcel Energy officials state they are on hand to help if customers lose power throughout the day.

According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Amarillo officials are expecting strong winds, which could be in excess of 60 mph, to last through 3 p.m. Wednesday. Many counties in the Texas Panhandle are under a Red Flag warning, encouraging individuals to have extra caution while traveling in the high winds and stating that there is a critical risk for fire spread.

According to a news release from Xcel Energy, the company has increased staffing levels and developed operational plans to ensure that employees are available to respond to various outages that could occur because of severe weather. As of Wednesday morning, Xcel Energy was reporting multiple outages throughout the Texas Panhandle, including outages in Amarillo, Borger, Dalhart, and Dumas.

Officials from the Panhandle Independent School District also confirmed to MyHighPlains.com that classes throughout the district were dismissed Wednesday after a power outage impacted campuses.

Individuals can report a power outage to Xcel Energy in numerous ways, including on the Xcel Energy website and mobile application. Individuals can also text ‘OUT’ to 98936 to report an outage, or text STAT to the same number to check the status of a power outage. They can also call 1-800-895-1999 and follow the prompts, letting customers report outages in less than 60 seconds.

Officials from Xcel Energy encourage individuals to stay away from downed power lines, always assuming that those lines are energized. They state that no one should touch or move a downed line. They also encourage individuals to keep the doors of a refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible during an outage to maintain temperatures.

Officials also encouraged individuals to build a home emergency kit in case of an outage, including the following items:

  • Access to Xcel Energy phone numbers – 1-800-895-1999 for residential or 1-800-481-4700 for business;
  • Battery-powered radio or television;
  • Flashlights;
  • Batteries;
  • Back up phone chargers;
  • A phone that does not require electricity;
  • Non-electric alarm clock;
  • Bottled water and nonperishable food;
  • Manual can opener;
  • First aid kit;
  • Extension cords (for partial outages);
  • Manufacturer’s instructions on how to manually open power-operated doors (e.g., garage doors);

According to the release, individuals can stay informed by accessing the Xcel Energy website, downloading the mobile application, or following the company on social media platforms. The website and the app include an Outage Map which displays information about the number of customers experiencing outages and the anticipated time for restoration.