Metroplex storms cause power outages for thousands

A lightning strike is seen over a residential neighborhood June 23 in Fort Worth. Another round of severe storms moved through the area a week after a tornado touched down in Arlington. 

About 16,000 Arlington residents experienced power outages because of Sunday night storms, Oncor spokesperson Briana Monsalve said. About 54,000 outages were reported in Tarrant County.

This is the third Sunday in a row where storms have caused power outages across the state, Oncor communications manager Grant Cruise said. In the last three weeks, over 500,000 customers have experienced outages statewide. The company currently serves about 10 million.  

There have been more outages than usual because there have been more storms, Cruise said.

“With storms like these, we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature,” he said. “These storms are producing the types of weather that you can’t really plan for or build around.”

As of 7:30 p.m. Monday, there were about 1,000 Arlington residents still without power and about 8,500 in Tarrant County, Cruise said. The company is continuing to make repairs and is aiming to repair all cases by early Tuesday.

The most significant outage was three weeks ago during the same storms that knocked a crane over into apartment buildings in Dallas, causing over 350,000 people to lose power, he said.

Cruise said repair times depend on the severity of the damage. Sometimes it’s as simple as reconnecting wires, other times it takes replacing key parts of the line or transformers.

High speed winds are the most common cause of outages, knocking trees into power lines or sometimes in extreme cases causing transformers to fly off poles, he said.

Arlington winds most likely reached up to 70 mph Sunday night, said Juan Hernandez, National Weather Service meteorologist.

This stormy weather is typical from May to early June, but it is running later in the month than usual, Hernandez said.

“Typically it starts to quiet down, however, it hasn’t really been quiet,” he said.

The air patterns have been stagnant, allowing “little pieces of energy” to move across the North Texas sky, leading to above average occurrences of these storms, he said. For June, there has already been an inch above the average rainfall.

As for the region, the Metroplex has just been unlucky to receive such concentrated storms, Hernandez said.

“Unfortunately, it’s been such that the storms come in a direction that basically hits the Metroplex,” he said. “You have tons of power lines, you have tons of wires going everywhere, and when the storms come through, they’ve just got more to hit.”

@reeseoxner

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