By Erin Jones

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Tonight Oncor is reporting hundreds of thousands of North Texans are still without power.

“It’s been a challenge,” Bill Engler said. “There’s seven of us living in our house without power”

At this point, the utility can’t give an estimate exactly how long this will last.

“We’re looking for opportunities so as soon as there is available supply, we can move that around and help customers that need relief,” Oncor spokeswoman Kerri Dunn said.

Dunn said as of Wednesday, Oncor was able to restore power to some customers and is trying to help those who have experienced the longest outages, but stresses the lack of available generation continues to be a real issue.

“I was prepared for a lot of these scenarios, but just the total length of outage is the most dangerous,” Engler said. “I have to be prepared for 48 more hours and I shouldn’t have to do that.”

She warns ERCOT can tell Oncor to reduce additional load at any time, depending on ERCOT’s needs, which would lead to more outages that would mainly affect residential and business areas.

“The main reason for that is that we have some areas that we can’t drop – or decide not to drop on we have these outages,” she said. “Primarily, critical facilities like a hospital.”

CBS 11 News asked if Oncor mainly doing the extended forced outrages now or is it a mix between the extended outages and the rolling blackouts?

“It’s such a dynamic situation,” Dunn said. “Any opportunity we have, we’re trying to increase those rotations.”

For a lot of Oncor customers, every day, every hour, their situation is getting worse.

“I would tell them please put safety first,” Dunn said. “We’re taking that direction from ERCOT and acting as soon as we safely can. With that said, there’s still the possibility this could extend so if you are not safe in your home please seek additional shelter.”


Erin Jones