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South Plains prepares for potential power outages as icy weather arrives

Published: Nov. 26, 2015 at 11:21 PM CST|Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 2:27 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock Power and Light and South Plains Electric Cooperative employees are prepared for potential power outages this Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Matt Rose with LP&L says City of Lubbock departments have hosted meetings to prepare for the icy weather all this week.

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LP&L expects the ice storms early Friday morning through Saturday. LP&L says this may cause ice accumulation on power lines that can weigh them down until they eventually break. Tree branches can also snap from ice accumulation and sometimes take out power lines.

Vehicles can also slide from ice on roadways into electrical poles.

Rose said they have staff and field crews on call to respond to outages quickly within Lubbock city limits.

To report an outage, Rose suggests texting or emailing your name, address and brief detailing of the issue to lightsout@lpandl.com. He will post an outage map at electric_outage.lpandl.com and updates at www.facebook.com/lpandl/. You can also call (806) 775-2509 to report an outage.

For areas outside Lubbock city limits serviced by SPEC, manager of communications, Lynn Simmons, said they have been on high alert about this weather since Monday. They also have crews on call to prepare for potential outages.

"We're hoping it misses us," she said, "but if not, we're prepared."

To report outages to SPEC, call (806) 741-0111. This is an automated message system, Simmons said, but the caller ID information will register in their system so they can send a crew to the location of the account holder. Crews will listen to any messages left.

Power outages within SPEC's service area that affect more than 100 customers will be posted along with updates at https://www.facebook.com/southplainselectric/timeline.

These potential power outages have some Lubbock businesses opening up on Thanksgiving to make sure everyone has a safe and warm holiday.

AAA Firewood opened at one Thursday afternoon because of customers' requests.

They say they have been bombarded with business.

About two-and-a-half weeks ago, they had about a thousand cords of firewood; running three trucks and trailers with eight employees.

Now they say they are down to roughly 50 cords and do not anticipate it lasting long.

Fire and Ice Firewood also has had a hard time keeping their inventory, according to Justin Daniel.

Daniel reports sales are up over 100 percent this year, partially because of the forecast this weekend.

A semi load of firewood sales every two days, according to Daniel.

However, for those who may not have a fireplace or shelter to keep warm during this weather the Salvation Army says they will host their Survive the Night canteen service on Saturday at 6 p.m. They will search the streets of Lubbock for those in need of a warm meal, clothes and blankets.

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