Storm causes power outage for much of Jacksboro
Oncor crews have been chasing downed power lines since Wednesday afternoon. Thursday has only yielded numerous more including one affecting more than 1,000 customers.
Jacksboro City Manager Mike Smith said he got a call from Oncor around 12:30 p.m. Thursday and was told there was a main line down that was impacting about 1,300 customers between Graham and Jacksboro.
“It’s a priority because it impacts critical facilities like the hospital and the wastewater treatment plant,” Smith said. “They’re on generator power right now.”
Trees and tree limbs heavy with ice have fallen over pulling down live wires all over Jack County. Wednesday afternoon, much of the area around Perrin was without power with much of it restored by early evening.
Power was lost for much of northwestern Jacksboro around 12:15 p.m. Most of the businesses along Main Street had electricity with the exception of those in the Lumar Addition area including Faith Community Hospital.
“We have a robust backup generator system, as we should, so we’re doing pretty good. We’re in good shape here,” said FCH CEO Frank Beaman. “All services are available. It’s just a little dark in some places. Some nonessential lights aren’t connected to the generator system. All emergency lighting and essential services are connected to the generator.
“We’ve seen it worse when we lost AT&T. Losing power isn’t as bad as losing communications, we have more reliable backup.”
The Swan Family Wellness Center was open, but there was little light and none of the powered machines were in operation.
Other businesses in the area including Dollar General, Shopko and Jacksboro National Bank had signs on their doors notifying the public they were closed temporarily due to the outage.
Jacksboro Fire Captain Jason Jennings said the county emergency services communications were unaffected when electricity was down for the radio tower on Highway 4.
“It’s on battery backup, (Assistant Chief) Jeff (Jackson) is heading out to put a backup generator on it,” he said.
Fire Chief Jeremy Jennings had no idea the number of lines had been downed as a result of the winter weather Wednesday and Thursday, but he said “a lot.”
Jack County Dispatch was contacted as to how many lines down had been reported but had not returned the call as of publishing.
Chief Jennings said, so far, the emergency calls have not been too serious.
“There’s been no fires (from the live lines down), knock on wood. It’s just been power lines and cars that slid off the road. Trees that fell over and knocked out power lines that we’ve had to remove, but other than that, it hasn’t been real bad,” he said.
Update: 3:25 p.m.
Oncor Area Manager Gordan Drake said the outage in the southern part of his area including Brownwood, Breckenridge, Graham, Mineral Wells, Stephenville and Jacksboro has left close to 8,000 customers without power. From Jacksboro west to Breckenridge there are about 1,800 cutomers impacted as of 3 p.m.
Drake said restoration is slowed because of the added hazards of travel and working in the icy conditions.
“Additional Oncor resources have come in from West Texas and Wichita Falls and we’ve been working around the clock since yesterday and will continue to,” he said.
Also, he urged anyone who sees a downed power line to stay away from it and call 911 to report it.