When will your power be back on? It depends... - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

TYLER (KLTV)

When will your power be back on? It depends...

So when will the power be turned back on?

It depends both on where you live and how much damage was caused to your power line.

One electric company says it's making progress. KLTV 7's Molly Reuter met up with an ONCOR electric delivery crew today.

ONCOR told us today it started Saturday night with 120,000 reports of power outages. By Monday morning, it was down to around 60 thousand customers. Still, many people want to know what's taking so long.

"50 mile per hour winds and pine trees is a bad combination in the electric business," says Charles Hill.

Downed power line after downed power line, ONCOR electric delivery crews have been working around the clock going from one neighborhood to the next.

"It was hard because the storm didn't finish blowing until late here in Tyler Saturday night, so it was Sunday morning before we could really start a lot of our damage evaluation."

And that, ONCOR representative Hill says, is the first step. From there, ONCOR will send in tree trimmers to remove debris. It's only then that electric crews can get to the damaged power line.

"Critical safety issues to make sure that everyone is communicating, which lines are hot, which lines are dead. We obviously don't want tree trimmers coming in and working on a line that they think is dead without proper notification," said Hill.

In the past couple of days, many of you have asked why your neighbor has power, but yours is out. Hill says it's a very interconnected system.

"It may be as simple as your transformer being off and his transformer not being off. That's why we ask people to number one call us if your lights are out and number two turn on your porch light."

Now, for the first time in two days, L.E. Griffin can turn his porch light on.

"I'm happy, you know, I'm happy," said Griffin. "I'm going to take a shower, that's the first thing and fix me some good hot food."

Something Hill says all of his customers will hopefully be doing soon.

ONCOR says it has about 600 employees in Smith County and 1,000 all over east Texas. Crews are coming from as far as Midland.

Hill says for Smith County residents, it will most likely be a couple more day before everyone's power is back on.

But the further south you go, the longer it will take because many of ONCOR's electric poles are damaged down there.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com  

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