Power Outages In Winona And Big Sandy - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/9/05-Longview

Power Outages In Winona And Big Sandy

       The use of energy on a frigid overnight period caused a power outage in two east Texas cities this morning. All of Big Sandy and the town of Winona were without power for several hours this morning. The two towns are less than 10 miles apart from each other in Upshur county. Swepco is blaming the outages on massive energy use in the 2 towns because of the 20 degree temperatures.

     "It was frozen this morning it was cold very cold and I had to dress by candlelight because I was without power" said Winona resident Barbara Brooks.

     Banks couldn't make transactions, businesses shut down, and some residents had to cook over an open fire as power went out around 6 this morning.

    "Everything west of the lake here in Big Sandy seemed like the power was out and we just had to wait for the power to come back, but we had enough warm water to make coffee" said Big Sandy bank employee Linda Baggett.

    For Big Sandy, the power was on and off for most of the morning. School districts in both towns sent all their students home, and some local businesses also closed. Swepco officials we spoke with today said the massive use of energy to fight the cold drew too much of a load and caused the outage. Some like the local donut maker had come in early to "make the donuts", and when the power went off had to improvise to stay in business.

     "The customers they think I'm closed so everybody was driving in and then back out so I opened the door and I was waving at them to come back, the only bad thing I had to give them cold pig in a blanket and cold croissants" said Big Sandy donut shop employee Rann Sok.

    More than 1-thousand homes were without power between the two towns, as people tried to stay warm waiting for power to return. Swepco says all power was restored to both communities between 11:30 and 12:30 today.

Bob Hallmark reporting.

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