TYLER, Texas (KETK) – About 85,000 of people in East Texas and western Louisiana were without power Sunday night as a winter storm continued to dump snow.
Oncor noted on its website that it had more than 1,000 separate power outages and about 45,000 people were without power. The number was likely to increase overnight and into Monday morning.
“Due to the winter storm in East Texas, Oncor has experienced significant damage to power lines. Please stay away from downed power lines, keep traffic away from impacted areas, and report it as soon as possible by contacting 911,” said a statement from Oncor.
“In Tyler, Palestine, Lufkin and surrounding areas, Oncor resources are currently working on restoring power to the area. While hazardous conditions are creating challenges in some areas, crews will be working through the night to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.”
Many of the outages were being caused by snow-covered tree limbs falling across power lines.
People can check on the status of power outages at Oncor outage map.
Approximately 38,000 SWEPCO customers are without power as heavy, wet snow blankets East Texas and Louisiana.
Most outages are being caused by tree branches weighed down by snow coming into contact with a power line. Safety devices automatically de-energize the power lined when this occurs.
“SWEPCO teams are working tonight to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations. “In the morning, crews from other SWEPCO locations as well as our sister company Public Service Company of Oklahoma and contractors will help us continue to restore power.”
At 9 p.m. Sunday, approximately 23,000 customers in East Texas and 15,000 customers in Louisiana were without power.
“Always assume that any downed utility line is energized and stay away,” advised SWEPCO. Report downed lines immediately to SWEPCO at 1-888-218-3919.
SWEPCO’s outage map can be found here.