Thousands Of TXU Customers Without Power - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/15/07-Smith County

Thousands Of TXU Customers Without Power

Downed trees on top of power lines could be found all over East Texas today.

Mount Selman resident Jeannie Salazar says of the tree in her front yard, "The tree was so heavy on top, and the ground was so wet, it just went right on over."

TXU crews worked on the tree for about 30 minutes, trying to free it from this feeder line that provides service to about 40 houses in Mount Selman. It took three chainsaws, but finally, they were able to free it.

That meant work could start on restoring power to this area. It was welcome news for Jeannie who says the inside temperature at her house had dropped to 40 degrees since the power went out this morning.

"My brother has propane. So, we went to his house, and he's keeping us warm. Lot's of blankets and candles.  Hopefully, everything will work out and tonight, we'll be warm," says Jeannie.

In the Flint-Gresham area, firefighters say they had a busy morning with three calls about downed power lines. At one scene, there was an added threat as the limb on the tree began to smoke, and a small flame ignited.

Captain Steve Damanski says, "We're going to observe it, and make sure nothing catches on fire. It's going to be a long time before the power company gets here because of all of the outages."

The power company couldn't arrive fast enough at the Horne residence in Flint. Their power went out at 8 this morning and since then, they have been doing everything they could think of to stay warm.

Natalie Horne says, "We have the fire, the propane heaters, the blankets and jackets and lots of footies."

As they sat around eating sub sandwiches, they say they are the lucky ones. Mr. Horne was able to find a generator and was in the process of getting it to the house so they would have heat. For many others, it will be a cold night as crews slowly chip away at the power problem in the area.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting:


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