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Cold weather blows in, knocking out power to some areas

By Sonny Long
Dec. 10, 2012 at 6:10 a.m.
Updated Dec. 11, 2012 at 6:11 a.m.


HOME WINTERIZING TIPS

With the first freeze of the season here, you should take a number of steps to protect your home. These include:

•  Have furnace professionally serviced.

•  Have fireplace chimney cleaned and damper checked.

•  Check the glass in windows and doors. Install new caulking if needed.

•  Add weather stripping around the edges of doors and windows.

•  Turn off the water supply to outside taps and drain the water supply lines leading to them.

•  Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and install fresh batteries.

•  Consider purchasing a backup generator.

SOURCE: DoItYourself.com

High winds and downed limbs were responsible for power outages in a large section of northern Victoria on Monday morning.

More than 1,500 customers were without power about two hours.

A tree limb, felled by high winds, fell across an overhead power line that begins at the Leary Lane Substation behind the American Electric Power office on Mockingbird Lane, said Elgin Janssen, AEP spokesman.

The power went out about 5:45 a.m. and affected 1,575 customers.

The power line serves customers in Shenandoah, Castle Hills, Castle Hills West, along Guy Grant Road to North Navarro Street, along Salem Road southwest to North Navarro Street and north along North Navarro Street to Lowe's, Janssen said.

Power was restored to all customers about 7:40 a.m, he said.

Another tree-related outage was reported in north Victoria in the country club area and affected approximately 70 customers, said Janssen.

Several dozen other sporadic outages involving one to three customers were also reported. These were transformer interruptions due to trees and high winds, Janssen said.

Victoria schools also felt the effect of the power outage as Chandler Elementary School was without power for a period of time before classes started, and the electricity at West High School flickered off and on for awhile Monday morning, said Victoria school district spokeswoman Diane Boyett.



Widespread winds

The cold front that blew through the Crossroads came through Victoria about midnight, said Jason Runyen, National Weather Service forecaster.

"The stronger winds were lagging behind the cold front and didn't hit until several hours later," said Runyen.

The maximum wind speed of 31 mph came through at 5:48 a.m. and the peak gust of 39 mph was at 6:19 a.m., according to the NWS.

Victoria wasn't the only location to feel the force of the winds.

Limbs were downed in DeWitt County and Lavaca County, but no major damage was reported.

AEP received reports from Calhoun County that customers had outages in Point Comfort, Tivoli and Port Lavaca, as well as from Columbus, Palacios, Bay City and El Campo, Janssen said.

Janssen added that he expected crews to be working most of Monday managing outages as a result of high winds throughout the day.



Prepping for the cold

The cold front brought with it the first freeze of the season.

"We expect 28 or 29 for lows Monday night and Tuesday night," said Runyen.

And Crossroads residents were getting prepared.

At Home Depot in Victoria, the sale of certain items were brisk.

"Pipe wrap, pipe insulation, faucet wrappers - anything to winterize your home, they've been moving since Saturday," said Ron Babich, assistant merchandise manager. "They took advantage of the nice weather on Saturday to start coming in."

The same held true at Lowe's, where space heaters were among the hot items.

"With the first cold front of the year, people get excited and come in to get things they need," said Pete Ramos, assistant store manager.

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