Rush-Hour Power Outage Snarls Dallas Traffic

Cars, trains gridlocked near Deep Ellum

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A power outage slowed down DART trains and created traffic jams near Deep Ellum on Tuesday. (Published Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012)

    A power outage during afternoon rush hour clogged roads and rails near downtown Dallas.

    Oncor Electric Delivery spokesman Kris Spears said a feeder line near Baylor Hospital knocked out power to 1,500 customers.

    Spears didn't know what caused the outage.

    The outage affected the Dallas Area Rapid Transit train crossing near US 75 and Good Latimer Expressway. With the power out, the train signals and crossing arms were rendered useless, causing a 45-minute traffic mess.

    "Given the time of the power loss and the location -- near downtown -- all DART light rail lines were affected," DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said. "DART police were dispatched to affected intersections to help manage the traffic. We redeployed them as we learned of other intersections."

    But the traffic snarl didn't clear up fast enough for some drivers. An NBC 5 viewer sent in pictures of frustrated drivers lifting up the safety arms to allow cars to pass through. Some drivers even got out of their cars to help or see what the problem was.

    Laura Savarese was stopped at a crossing for a few minutes and said she didn't feel like waiting for the signals to work again.

    "[It is] pretty annoying. I'm suppose to meet my friends in five minutes for dinner, so it doesn't look like that's going to happen," she said before reversing and driving away.