7 on Your Side: Smith Co. residents upset with frequent power outages

7 on Your Side: Smith Co. residents upset with frequent power outages
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The effects of Tropical Depression Bill are still being felt across East Texas.

ONCOR is reporting more than 1,100 customers are still without power, as of Wednesday evening.

Upshur Rural Electric is only reporting 28 customers without power, but some of their customers who live on County Road 3216 and County Road 26 in Smith County say the power outages in their area have become more frequent. Despite the weather conditions, they want answers.

Smith County resident Ruby Hutchinson says her electricity situation isn't getting any brighter.

"I was trying to fix dinner and the lights went out and then they came back on and then they went out," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson has lived on County Road 3216 for 22 years and her electricity is provided through Upshur Rural Electric. But she says power outages have been a problem through the years and now it seems it's only getting worse.

"Recently, I think it started on the 24th of May, but we had outages every day," Hutchinson said.

Barbara Ford lives on County Road 26 just around the corner, and she wants answers, too.

"We just want to know if something can be done or what is causing the problem," Ford said.

Both say that on Sunday the power was out for more than five hours, Monday it was out for four hours, and on Tuesday they didn't have electricity for two hours.

"We just have to learn how to cope with it. My husband is on insulin and his medicine has to be refrigerated so that causes a problem," Ford said.

But Upshur Rural officials say there haven't been any outages and for now they believe the problem is fixed.

"The latest is we had a storm come through yesterday. The lightning hit a transformer bank and we went from place to place to find the issue," said Transmission Supervisor Gary Haden.

Haden says this particular line spanning about 20 miles has been heavily effected by the weather.

"When we have this much saturation and the lightning and the storms that we have, it's not common for us to see this many outages in one area," Haden said.

Residents worry it may be more than the weather causing their problems.

"Even if the sun is shining, like this past Sunday, it went off," Ford said.

But for now they are going to enjoy having their electricity and hope the next big storm doesn't leave them in the dark.

Both residents say they have called Upshur Rural Electric, but their messages have not been returned.

Upshur officials say they have crews working round the clock and easy way to reach them is through their mobile app.

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