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Oncor Asks All Customers To Prepare For Power Outages Lasting 'Extended Period Of Time'

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Oncor, which delivers electricity to much of North Texas, said the length of controlled power outages were "significantly extended" due to the severe winter weather conditions.

Rotating outages began overnight as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state's power grid, entered emergency protocols during dangerously cold temperatures.

According to Oncor, those outages were originally expected to last 15 to 45 minutes, but now they could last hours.

In an update Monday afternoon, Oncor said it is asking all its customers to be prepared to be without power "for an extended period of time."

Oncor also mentioned areas are dealing with outages caused directly by the winter storm conditions.

"The Texas power system is currently facing an unprecedented shortfall of electric generation. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has requested Oncor and utilities across the state to implement controlled power outages to reduce high demand and protect the integrity of the electric grid," Oncor said in an update.

ERCOT said earlier Monday it expects the controlled outages to continue the rest of Monday and possibly all day Tuesday.

Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted an update just before 4 p.m. that around 500,000 residential customers, so far, were getting power back.

According to Oncor's outage map, more than 1.1 million total customers are currently affected by the outages.

Oncor customers do not need to report outages at this time.

Tips to reduce power use include turning thermostats to 68 degrees or lower, closing blind or shades to reduce the amount of heat that leaves homes, turning off or unplugging non-essential equipment such as small appliances, and trying to avoid using large appliances during peak hours like the mornings and evenings.

Although North Texans will see sunny skies Monday, high temperatures will only be in the low to mid-teens, with wind chills in the negatives for some.

North Texas, for the first-time ever, is also under a wind chill warning through noon Tuesday.

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