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What's causing power outages in Axtell?

Axtell residents say they are sick of power outages but can't get an answer for why they are happening. Oncor said a recent improvement project might be the reason.

AXTELL, Texas — Angry Axtell residents have taken to Facebook multiple times after their power went out repeatedly in the last two months.

Tracy Toten told 6 News Monday the lights will go off and on again once a day, resetting appliances and messing up clocks, but they've also had longer outages. 

"It might just go off and come back on, or it might go off for a couple of hours. You just never know," Toten said. 

Oncor does serve the Axtell area, but when residents had called Oncor multiple times but received different stories of what was going on, with Winter Storm Uri sometimes coming up as the culprit. 

"One (resident) was told it's because so many people were working from home now. One representative told them it was because of the freeze they had in February. That they (the lines) are still not up to par. A different story every time," Toten said. 

When 6 News started asking questions Monday, however, Oncor Customer Operations Manager Michael Baldwin had a different, and much more specific answer. An Oncor improvement project near a line had caused outages for the local area. 

"Oncor had an improvement project around a transmission line in this area that unfortunately resulted in temporary service interruptions. Work on this project has now been completed," Baldwin said in an email. 

After asking more questions 6 News found out the project began on Nov. 2, 2021 and was completed on Dec. 11, 2021. Multiple Facebook posts described issues around Dec. 11 in particular. 

When 6 News asked Baldwin why there were outages more recent that, he sent another email saying the following:

"During this recent improvement project a mobile substation was placed into operation and customers may have experienced a power interruption while the mobile substation was being put into service and later when it was removed. 

Oncor did experience a momentary blink early Sunday morning Dec. 19 at 1:46 a.m. that that was not attributed to the recent work in the Axtell area."      

Totem said she had never heard of this particular project before. 

With the Oncor project completed and the mobile substation removed, residents hope to have fewer prolonged outages in the future. 

Stay with 6 News as this story develops.

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