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Many North Texas Residents Still Living Without Power

Robbie Owens for CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM
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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS)Cozy evenings by the fireplace aren’t quite as cozy when you’re several days into a power outage and just trying to keep warm. “We have a gas fireplace, and we try to stay as close to it as possible,” says Elizabeth Wreford.  “It has been cold and frustrating.

With the power out since Friday, Wreford says it’s gotten down to 37 degrees inside her Lake Highlands area house — and she’s fed up with Oncor’s broken promises.

Repair crews removing downed trees and attempting to restore power (Photo: Stephanie Lucero-Casler)

Repair crews removing downed trees and attempting to restore power (Photo: Stephanie Lucero-Casler)

“Finally, they said it’ll be on at noon on Sunday.  Sure enough, wasn’t on.  Then they said late Sunday night, wasn’t on.  Then, 1:00 AM on Monday they said ‘your power’s on’ and here we are:  no power.”

According to Oncor, some 5000 crews are working 16 hour shifts – around the clock -to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible.

“I know that it is truly is frustrating,” says Oncor spokesperson Anna Kurian, “and they [repair crews] are giving it all they’ve got.  It’s so cold outside and we know that it’s very difficult to be without power.”

At the height of the storm, Oncor was reporting some 270-thousand ice storm related outages.  By late Monday afternoon, those numbers had dwindled considerably.  In Dallas County, nearly 8,000 customers were still without power. Nearly a thousand were still being affected in Collin County, roughly 650 power outages were being reported in Rockwall County. 500 in Kaufman, 100 in Tarrant and less than a hundred customers were reportedly without power in Denton County.

And while tremendous progress has been made, even Oncor admits that repairs elsewhere are little comfort to customers still in the dark.

“It’s been tough here in sunny Dallas, Texas,” joked John Vassaur, “that’s why I moved here. It’s sunny, ya know?”

Yes, but not lately. Vassaur ventured out onto the still ice slicked streets to see if crews were in fact, working, and they were.  But, Oncor is reminding customers that the same weather conditions that caused the blackouts are also hampering repairs.

“Certainly it’s been hard to drive on the roads, these conditions have made it very difficult to restore power,” say Kurian.  “Our crews are driving on the same streets as other motorists and we’re hearing that people are getting stranded, so those conditions are what they’re out there dealing with and so they really are doing the best that they can.”

Oncor is hoping to have power restored to the remaining customers affected by the ice storm by late Monday evening.

©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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