Thousands left without power as colder temperatures hit the area

Published: Dec. 18, 2016 at 8:56 PM CST
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As temperatures dropped across West Texas yesterday, those in the area did whatever it took to stay warm.

“If we didn't have heat, I would’ve gone to a family members house,” said Marina Rivera, Odessa resident.

“When I don’t have power, I have a little small generator. I have, you know, things warm up with a generator,” said Ruben Ramirez, Odessa resident.

With temperatures dropping, some were left without power for hours, even through the night.

An Oncor representative tells us that they began seeing problems around 12:30 p.m. yesterday.

“When temperatures drop, it taxes equipment and then in addition to the wind, sometimes it’ll blow limbs together, sometimes it’ll blow foreign objects into the line, it’ll break tree limbs that fall onto the lines,” said Sue Mercer, West Region Manager of Customer Operations.

At the peak of the outage 5,004 customers were affected. Oncor brought in crews from outside of the Midland area to help resolve the issue and by noon today the bulk of the customers had their power restored.

The company did have about three different main line feeders affected and those can impact the largest number of customers.

“What we do in that case is try to reroute power or isolate that particular structure or that area so that we can get the majority of the customers back on,” said Mercer.

She added that crews will continue to work even after all the power has been restored in order to put the system back to a normal configuration.