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Preps for Ice Storm, Round Two

The Permian Basin is expecting another round of freezing temperatures including a chance for freezing rain which leads to icy conditions.
The Permian Basin is expecting another round of freezing temperatures including a chance for freezing rain which leads to icy conditions.

Not even two weeks ago, the area was hit with an ice storm that crippled road travel and left thousands without power at the peak of the storm.

Two of the biggest concerns with this next storm are keeping the power on and road conditions.

"The roads got pretty icy," said Trooper Elena Viramontes with DPS. “The roads did freeze. Everything was frozen. We had a lot of car crashes."

While TxDOT and city crews will treat the roads, Trooper Viramontes says drivers can help.

"We do encourage our drivers to eliminate all distractions including cell phone devices. Slow down. Make sure there is enough room for you to stop," she said.

"If you don't have to be out, stay home. We do highly encourage that as well."

Another concern is keeping the power on during the cold temperatures and icy conditions.

“It's just time to gear up again," said Sue Mercer with Oncor Electric Delivery. “We are trying to get ready again even though we are trying to recoup from last week's storm."

At the peak of the storm at the end of November, more than 10,000 homes were without power. Oncor replaced more than 300 damaged power poles, more than 100 transformers and had 500 crewmembers working to restore electricity.

“The outages that we had last time isn't something that we can prevent,” Mercer said. “And we worked just as quickly as we could to get extra crews in here."

Oncor says it’s ready for round two, with extra transformers, power poles and all kinds and sizes of wire on hand.

“We can't guarantee a non-interruption of power, and we don't guarantee that. We work toward it.” Mercer said. "Mother nature just works against us at times."

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