Power restored, courthouse temporarily emptied

PNT Staff

Power was out for 36 minutes across Portales on Friday morning, the outage caused by a piece of equipment that regulates voltage, an Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves said. The power was out from 9:10 to 9:46 a.m.

The power outage is believed to have triggered the temporary closing of the Roosevelt County Courthouse on Friday morning. Following the power outrage, smoke was noticed in Judge Drew Tatum’s office and judge chambers on the second floor. The courthouse was evacuated, according to Tatum.

He said the district court emergency planner, Vicky Stewart, blew an emergency whistle and the building was quickly evacuated.

Lance Hill, the battalion chief on duty with the Portales Fire Department, said that when fire trucks arrived, smoke was coming out on top of the building.

Hill said it appeared that a motor in an air conditioning unit went out, perhaps triggered by the power outage.

The courthouse reopened at 1 p.m.