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Thousands In DFW Lose Power After Strong Winds

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - Thousands of homes and businesses are still without power days after strong winds moved through North Texas, knocking trees and limbs into power lines.

Dallas-based Oncor says crews are working to restore electricity to the nearly 4,200 customers without power Monday evening. Most of the outages were in the Dallas area.

Spokeswoman Cristi Ramon says winds on Saturday and Sunday downed power poles and lines.

“We saw a lot of tree limbs falling into our lines causing the downed lines,” Ramon said. “There were broken poles, so the outages were extended because the repairs that had to be done.”

The National Weather Service says gusts of nearly 40 mph were recorded Sunday afternoon in Fort Worth, as temperatures topped 100 degrees.

Parts of the Crestwood neighborhood in Fort Worth were without electricity for more than 24 hours after a large tree fell on a power pole. Residents on Springbrook said the power went out around 10 p.m. Saturday night, and wasn’t restored until 2 a.m. Monday.

“We kind of thought they would be out here, at least to inspect what was going on, we saw the explosion, we knew where the tree came down, we gave them the exact block and it still took 10-12 hours before we even saw somebody to look at it,” resident Mike Karpinski said. “That was our biggest frustration.”

Some residents left their homes and stayed elsewhere for the night because the heat was too much to bear.

Crestwood resident Diana High was still without power Monday evening. The tree that left the neighborhood powerless is in her backyard. The lines running to her home were completely yanked from the electrical box when the wind brought the tree down.

“Everything went black, and I didn’t have a candle one in the house,” she said. “Everybody has electricity but me I guess.”

A tree on Mike Karpinski’s property was also knocked down by the strong wind gusts.

He and his sons spent Monday morning cleaning up the damage. While he understands power outages will happen from time to time, not getting a direct response from the utility company upset him and his neighbors, he said.

“When you get on the phone all you get is an answering machine,” he said, “You don’t get a person. No one can tell you a time, and that was the biggest problem we had. Nobody knew when.”

“We want to ensure our customers we are working as quickly and safely as we possibly can,” Ramon said, “and apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused.”

Oncor encourages people to have an emergency kit prepared, in the event they are without electricity for an extended period.

Ramon said the damage is mainly due to high winds, not the excessive heat.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.) 

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