For some, power outages are a matter of life and death - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

For some, power outages are a matter of life and death

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Kyle Cotton's father depends on medical equipment powered by electricity Kyle Cotton's father depends on medical equipment powered by electricity
LP&L Public Information Officer Chris Sims LP&L Public Information Officer Chris Sims
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

It has been three days since a powerful storm ripped through the South Plains - uprooting trees, blowing off roofs, and tearing down power lines - and hundreds of Lubbock Power & Light customers are still in the dark.

Losing power is a major inconvenience, but for Kyle Cotton's terminally-ill father, this outage could have been deadly.

"This could have been life-threatening for my father. He's on life alert, life alert was out, he didn't have 911 services and he doesn't have a cell phone. Thank God my sister knew what to do," Cotton said.

Kyle's 80-year-old father relies on medical equipment to live. So when the power went out at his home, and his father's equipment could no longer be plugged in, he had to rely on batteries.

"He's on oxygen, he got sick Friday, and they had to rush him to an emergency room due to overheating," Cotton said.

Kyle says he went to LP&L for help, but they didn't get to him in time.

Luckily, Kyle says, his sister ran across the street to the neighbors, who had power, to call 911. Emergency crews were able to restore his father and LP&L restored his electricity.

But many other LP&L customers are still without power.

Chris Sims, Public Information Officer with LP&L, says they are making substantial progress since the storm, which brought winds upwards of 80 miles per hour and caused severe damage to infrastructure throughout the entire service territory, leading to over 19,000 reported outages at its peak.

"We believe right now we'll be at 90 percent of those customers who have reported outages restored by midnight tonight," Sims said.

But as far as the other 10 percent, Sims says they will get to them as soon as they can.

"We're trying as hard as we can. We don't have an estimated time, but in reality, we really think we should have everything done by Monday morning at the latest. We're shooting internally for our goal to have everything back up by tomorrow afternoon."

Sims says they have brought in additional construction crews from all around the region to help with restoration efforts.

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