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Power outages leaves Central Texas families fighting for warmth

Temple residents Chiquitta Waff and Justaneece Jackson became one of the hundreds of thousands to lose power Wednesday.

TEMPLE, Texas — Central Texans are starting to see the impacts of the winter storm with even more crashes, fallen trees and power outages.

Geographically there's been widespread power outages. Hundreds of thousands of Texans are trying to figure out how to stay warm, including many of us here in Central Texas.

According to Oncor's Outage Map, Wednesday night around 11:00 p.m., there was more than 3,200 outages affecting more than 125,000 customers in Texas. McLennan County had nearly 600 customers affected and Bell County had around 5,500.

Temple residents Chiquitta Waff and Justaneece Jackson became part of those numbers Wednesday.

"It has been a struggle," Jackson said. "Phone has died, can't get in contact with nobody, praying the food don't go bad but it already went bad. I'm just trying to carry on with the day with this power being out and I got a seven month old so it's really hard."

Waff also has a step-daughter she's trying to keep warm in the conditions. The two said they heard transformer blow, leaving half of their street in the dark and leaving them trying to make it through the storm.

As Oncor customers, they aren't sure how much longer they'll be in dark and cold as so many others are dealing with the same scenario.

"We called them and they didn't really give us a quote, but they did say it was 700 or so people without power or more," Waff added.

Oncor Spokesperson Andy Morgan said it's hard to give restoration updates for customers partly because of the amount of outages they have.

"It's frustrating and stressful to not have power in your home, especially when it's cold and we understand that," Morgan said. "We're trying to get everybody we can back in service as quickly as possible."

Oncor had line crews staying busy Wednesday working to restore downed power lines, blown transformers and snapped poles. On Wednesday, Oncor decided to call in 1,000 utility workers through mutual assistance partnerships with other Texas utilities and neighboring states to help with the demand in service. Morgan said it can take time to get service restore but crews are working in the conditions to get it done as soon as possible.

"We have someone go out and see what the damage is," he explained. "We see if we have to cut down some trees or tree limbs, and then we go in and do the work so sometimes it involves replacing a poll, sometimes it's replacing wire, it may be replacing the cross arms."

Morgan said more power outages could be possible overnight and into Thursday as more ice is expected to build up on power lines.

Customers can report outages and receive updates by registering for MyOncor text alerts by texting “REG” to 66267, downloading the MyOncor App and following Oncor on Facebook and Twitter, or by calling 888.313.4747. If you see a downed power line, stay away, keep people away and call 911 immediately.

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