High Winds Tear Across High Plains, Leaving Thousands Without Power

Mar 13, 2019

Credit Jonathan Baker

The High Plains experienced staggeringly strong winds on Wednesday, with some areas seeing hurricane-force winds.

In Amarillo, the National Weather Service reported gusts of up to 80 miles per hour.

Broken glass was seen blowing down Polk Street—where it was whipped into the air by circulating gales—and streetlights and power lines all over the Texas Panhandle were blown down.

By late afternoon, 22,000 customers had lost power in the Panhandle, according to Wes Reeves of Xcel Energy. That number included the entire towns of Canadian, Vega and Cactus. The energy company had sent restoration teams out to almost 850 locations by 3 pm.

Reeves noted that it's important to remember, you should never approach or touch a downed power line. Always assume the line is energized, and stay away.  In high winds, motorists should also exercise extreme caution—especially those in lightweight or tall vehicles.