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Dangerous heat causes power outages, unlivable conditions for North Texans

Your Thursday Afternoon Headlines, June 14th, 2022
Your Tuesday Afternoon Headlines, June 14th, 2022 03:23

PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - People across North Texas are speaking out about their experiences enduring dangerous heat after losing power over the weekend. 

Many of them have questions for Oncor about what happened. 

"It was 90 something degrees in our house for most of the weekend, so it wasn't livable," said Sheri Browning, a Plano resident.  

After experiencing a power outage from Saturday afternoon to Monday, Browning is sharing her frustrations. 

"Those automated notifications from Oncor kept coming, I would probably say every three hours," Browning said. 

She said Oncor's alerts said power would be restored in three hours, but it took 36 hours instead. 

"It was really inconvenient but the thing I worry the most about is it being extremely dangerous," Browning said. "And the level of communication from Oncor was really frustrating because there was no transparency."

An Oncor spokesperson told CBS 11 that a combination of record heat and record usage put additional stress on equipment which led to increased outages. 

Oncor also said while they know any power outage is frustrating and inconvenient, it's common for the first significant heat wave to impact its electrical equipment.

Director of Maguire Energy Institute, Bruce Bullock said malfunctions are going to happen, especially with older equipment.

"Some of this is going to happen no matter what, just simply because infrastructure does age and it takes time to replace it and it takes money to replace it and for the most part I think Oncor, Centerpoint, all of them are doing a fairly aggressive job recently at trying to upgrade and harden their infrastructure," Bullock said. 

He said there will be outages here and there, but it can get repaired quickly. 

As for Browning, she said she's worried about more outages.

"This is the beginning of June and we're in triple digits already, based on weather forecast and things like that, I don't think it's going to get any cooler over the next couple of months," Browing said. 

She also said she was lucky enough to be able to go to a hotel and bring her dogs, but she knows other people including the elderly can't do that anytime this happens. 

Oncor said the repairs they made should strengthen their systems for the rest of the summer. 

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