Oncor is investigating what brought down power poles, lines and transformers around 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon in North Dallas, knocking out power to several shopping centers along Greenville Avenue near Lovers Lane and prompting a call for help.
Lt. Ayman Ghousheh with the Dallas Fire-Rescue said the department received a call for people trapped in their cars beneath downed power lines, but by the time firefighters arrived everyone was out and safe.
“We got a call on wires down, showed up we noticed the parking wires on top of cars, some people trying to get in some people trying to get out; it was real chaotic,” Ghousheh said.
He said it’s unusual to see this type of damage.
“Not like this — usually we’ll get wires down, but not where a whole block and you have two poles down and both transformers are down,” said Ghousheh.
Ghousheh said he has no idea what brought the poles down, but suspected it was strong winds.
“It’s pretty dangerous. As soon as we got here we asked for additional companies to help us out just to get the scene safe,” Ghousheh said.
But, for Mark Rodkey, who was stranded without a car until Oncor could shut power off to the area — it was frightening.
“Just a big boom — we heard lightning or thunder was the big boom, or it may have been the transformer, but other people in the store saw the sparks for the transformer,” Rodkey said.
“What happened was the power went out — you heard the security alarm sensors go off and on — and then a couple seconds later all the lights went off and then they came back on and then they just shut off for good.”
Businesses were forced to shut their doors during dinner, one of the busiest time of the day. Many of the signs on the door asked customers to come back tomorrow.
“I just came to work and I just drove by and I see all these power lines down and all these businesses shut down and get to work and see we’re closed for the day,” said Camaron Martin.
As of Saturday at 9 p.m., Oncor reported 257 customers without power in Dallas County, down from a high of 16,942. Tarrant County reported 27 customers without electricity, down from 961. Denton County reported 20 customers without power, down from a high of 2,922. And Collin County had 25 customers in the dark, a decrease from 961.