Snow photos from DFW winter storms

Power Complications and Complaints

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010  |  Updated 8:29 AM CDT
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Power Complications and Complaints

NBCDFW.com

The weight of heavy snow caused some trees to split in half.

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Power Complications and Complaints

Oncor said some homeowners blocked repairs, other homeowners said Oncor lost track of them.
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Oncor said some homeowners blocked repairs, other homeowners said Oncor lost track of them.

Conflicting comments marked the final restoration of electricity Monday after last week’s record North Texas snowfall.

Oncor expected to have all remaining customer who were still without power Monday restored by midnight but at the same time said that some customers will continue to experience spotty outages in coming weeks.

Electric provider Oncor said the peak outage was about 208,000 customers Friday. But, the total number affected by power failures since Thursday reached nearly 500,000 as more tree limbs continued to fall over the weekend.

"We would restore power and then in different neighborhoods, trees would fall into limbs again and it would cause outages in those neighborhoods," said Oncor spokesperson Jeamy Molina. "It’s our worst ice storm here in the area."

Molina said Oncor repair efforts were complicated when property owners refused to allow tree trimmers on their property in Dallas, Plano, Arlington and Fort Worth.

"Whenever that happened we would got on to a different outage and come back when that issue was resolved."

Molina said fallen limbs had to be removed in those locations before workers could access the lines for repairs.

"Pruning is one of the ways that we prevent outages and as everybody saw this weekend, this is what happens when the trees are too close to power lines," said Molina.

Some homeowners in unrelated locations said Oncor lost track of them during the outage. 

Francois Chandou said the power at his North Oak Cliff home in Dallas went out Thursday night as limbs began falling from trees in his neighborhood.  But the power lines to his house were not hit so he called Oncor to inquire about the outage.

He said the company gave him a service number. "And when we called again the next day, they didn’t have us identified, so that was very suspicious," Chandou said.  "I don’t know what’s going on with the power company.  They tell you one thing, but other people tell you something else."

Chandou said the power was finally restored Sunday night. He and his wife went to a hotel over the weekend and made the most of the bad situation. 

"We took a nice bottle of wine with us and had a good time and tried to forget the mess here," Chandou said.

Molina said Oncor customers are encouraged to file complaints about the company’s performance.  "We’ll try to find some way to better resolve that issue next time around," Molina said.


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