Oncor, city prepare for widespread power outages

First resonders and emergency agencies are gearing up and bracing for the damage hurricane Ike could cause here.

KLTV 7's Courtney Lane met with the City of Tyler and Smith County officials today.

Many resources are being pooled between Tyler and Smith county. Crews are out checking drainage systems and clearing creeks to prevent flooding. TX-DOT has crews ready to remove debris and close roads if they become too dangerous.

And Oncor says thousands of east Texas could experience power outages, so they're gearing up, and have brought extra crews to Tyler as a staging area.

"It's like mobilizing an army. Because we're expecting 300 to 500 company resources, company and contractor resources in here. That includes tree trimmers, line crews, additional clerical help," said Charles Hill with Oncor.

It may be the calm before the storm, but agencies have been busy preparing for the wake of damage Ike could leave behind.

"It's so widespread that we could have several hundred thousand customers out in East Texas," said Hill.

First responders are also gearing up to battle against Hurricane Ike's wrath.

"To prepare for in the event of any swift water rescues that are required here if we have any flooding in any low-lying areas. They're also prepared to remove trees and debris from roadways to prevent accidents," said Smith County Judge Joel Baker.

"Making sure all of our equipment is fueled. The same things that we've asked all of the citizens to do by going to the FEMA site and looking at the preparation that needs to be made," said Fire Chief Scholttach.

Ike is expected to barrel through east Texas fast, but he still could dump heavy rains and up to 60 mile an hour winds.

"Always in a storm like this we'll have downed power lines we'll have broken poles. Treat every down power line like it's live," said Hill.

Now if you do lose power, Oncor says to make sure and report your outage so they can respond quicker.

If you do have power, leave your porch light on. They say that will help them see who has power and who doesn't.

Courtney Lane, reporting. clane@kltv.com