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More Than 200,000 Dallas-Area Customers Still Without Power Monday Night; Oncor Asks For Patience

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Oncor is asking for patience as tens of thousands of North Texans prepare for a second night without electricity.

At the height of the storm, some 350,000 customers lost power.

According to Oncor Monday evening, about 140,000 have had service restored.

Extra crews are being brought in from around the country to join local staffers working 16-hour days to get the power back on.

Based on experience with previous severe storms such as these, Oncor estimates that the vast majority of customers will have their power restored by late Wednesday.

However, due to the unusually extensive damage from this storm, restoration for some customers may stretch into Thursday.

In Dallas, street after street is littered with downed trees and broken branches.

Storm damage in Dallas
Storm damage in Dallas (CBS 11)

"Managed to clean up enough to get cars out of the garage," says Steve Gossett, while clearing away broken limbs. "So I'll go get some ice, and go put things in coolers.And then? Just not worry about it."

Laurence Cole is opting for patience, as well.

"The plan is just to wait and see," says Cole. "Use everything in the fridge that's going to spoil. I'm going to cook it tonight and we'll see what happens," he adds with laugh. "What' s my other option? Go buy a generator?"

Richard Davenport picked one up on sale a few years back. And now he says it's earning it's keep.

"Been sitting in the garage," says Davenport. "I've been getting gas for it. Keep the fridge cold. I'm making do."

The generator is also how he plans to manage without power for what could be days.

"The last text I got said the 12th, at 11:30 p.m... estimated time," says Davenport, referring to a text message from Oncor about the outage. "They said two days, as they find more problems, I know it's going to get worse and worse."

And that includes the traffic: between the storm and the power outages, roughly 41% of Dallas' stoplights are malfunctioning.

"I started going the other way down Forest and was going to make my way to Whole Foods, no dice--too much traffic," says Aaron Spahr, who works in Dallas, but commutes from Tarrant County.

"Signal lights out. Came back. Every restaurant within 5 blocks is closed. It's just crazy!"

Along with neighborhoods, nearby shopping centers have also been left in the dark-- and that includes many restaurants.

"Very glad I got that generator," says Davenport.

The city of Dallas reported of 3:30 p.m. Monday, there were 84 signals flashing; 410 communication outages and six that are knocked down.

Staff continues to address these downed traffic signals.

The city of Arlington provided personnel to assist traffic crews, and city of Garland is providing personnel assistance starting Tuesday.

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