Strong winds wreak havoc on Crossroads power lines
Overgrown tree branches, strong winds and power lines caused tiny sparks across the city and county Tuesday night.
Residents in various parts of Victoria and Victoria County reported being in the dark for as many as three hours. City and county officials were attributing the outages to power lines damaged by low-hanging tree branches and strong wind gusts.
Within a few hours Tuesday, the temperature dropped to 55 degrees with wind gusts up to 49 mph.
In the county, residents in the Bloomington/Placedo area had no power. Some Victoria residents also experienced power loss.
Victoria resident Kevin Rother, 23, said he saw sparks from a backyard power line after returning from the movies Tuesday night.
"The wind caused the branches to rub on the lines, releasing the spark," Rother said. "Tree branches were all over the ground."
The Victoria Fire Department received more than a dozen calls regarding electrical sparks and grass fires throughout the city, said Capt. Adam Luther, of the Victoria Fire Department.
"Our main concern is the sparks that could cause a fire in this wind," Luther said.
When power lines arc, firefighters isolate the area and wait for technicians from the American Electric Power company to trim the snagged branches from the power lines.
No significant damage was reported as of 8 p.m. Tuesday night. AEP officials did not return phone calls Tuesday.