DALLAS, Dec. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Oncor crews worked around the clock to cut the number of outages down to less than 45,000 across its service territory as of Sunday morning, with the hardest hit area of North Texas having less than 35,000 outages.
The peak of the storm occurred Friday when 270,000 customers lost power after a major ice storm descended upon Texas. On Saturday, an additional 30,000 outages occurred as subfreezing temperatures prevented thawing and continued to cause ice-laden tree limbs to break and fall into power lines.
While many utilities across the southern United States already sent assistance, Oncor requested additional help from its mutual assistance partner utilities to aid in restoration. By Sunday morning, almost 5,000 Oncor employees, contractors and utility workers from other areas in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida were working in the field.Winter conditions and dangerous roads continue to challenge and greatly hinder restoration efforts, but Oncor officials estimate restoration efforts will be nearly complete by late Sunday night. "We know it's been very difficult for our customers who have been without power as a result of the ice storm and ongoing subfreezing temperatures. We're using all available resources to restore power as quickly as we safely can," Chief Operating Officer Jim Greer said. Public and employee safety continues to be Oncor's No. 1 priority. Greer said that customers should stay away from downed power lines and call 911 if they see a downed line. Oncor's advanced metering system has been a significant asset to the restoration process by proactively communicating customer outages to Oncor as they occur and letting the company know when power at a specific home or business has been restored. To be safe, Oncor customers are still encouraged to report their outages by texting OUT to 66267, visiting mobile-friendly stormcenter.oncor.com or by calling 888.313.4747 to ensure that Oncor is aware of their specific outage.