A PNM crew dispatched two weeks ago to assist Texas residents impacted by Hurricane Ike plans to return from the Gulf Coast today after helping restore power to nearly 115,000 customers.

"Our crew is proud to have assisted TNMP and other mutual assistance crews in the effort to restore power to the families and business owners left without electricity after Hurricane Ike," said Joel Ivy, PNM's vice president, New Mexico Operations. "The PNM employees who answered TNMP's request for mutual assistance worked long hours in unfamiliar and often dangerous conditions, and seeing the gratitude displayed by Gulf Coast residents made all the hard work and being away from home worthwhile. It's hard to be away from loved ones for two weeks, but it's a sacrifice every one of our crew members were happy to make, and we know that if a disaster left New Mexico in a similar state, TNMP and other utilities would be there for us to return the favor."

Forty-five linemen and 27 utility vehicles departed from New Mexico on Sept. 14. After two weeks working with TNMP and other mutual assistance crews, TNMP released the PNM crew over the weekend in order to let the workers return to work and their families. Crews plan to return to PNM's Albuquerque Electric Service Center, located on Edith Boulevard just south of Comanche, at approximately 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 29.

PNM originally responded to a request for assistance from PNM's sister company, Texas-New Mexico Power Co. (TNMP). TNMP is a provider of electrical and transmission distribution services to approximately 115,000 customers in the Gulf Coast region.

This is the eighth mutual assistance response mission for PNM crews, and linemen assisted TNMP with a wide variety of post-hurricane restoration work, including the replacement of distribution poles and transformers, repairing downed electrical lines, running new services and repairing transmission structures.

After Hurricane Ike hit the Gulf Coast of Texas in the early hours of Sept. 13, TNMP reported that virtually all of its 115,000 customers were without power. TNMP's Gulf Coast service area includes Texas City, Dickinson, League City, Friendswood, Alvin, La Marque, Angleton, Sweeny, West Columbia, Brazoria, Bailey's Prairie, Hillcrest Village and Holliday Lakes.