GREGORY, Texas — On Tuesday we reported about Gregory residents and businesses dealing with power outages over the past few months.
AEP Texas looked into the issues people in Gregory were experiencing. Omar Lopez with AEP corporate communications said construction in the area can be partly to blame for some power outages in December.
“A dozer knocked out a couple of power lines, it took some time getting those repaired. Along with getting those repaired, during the repairs you probably saw some outages if you did live in Gregory,” Lopez said. “That, compounded with the recent cold fronts we’ve been having this season, with some of the strong winds, we have seen scattered power outages.”
The construction in the area, Lopez said, is a multi-year project that is strengthening the reliability of service in the Gregory area. He said the project has been going on for around two years, and will take approximately two more years to complete.
“We really hope the public understands, and the viewers in Gregory understand, we are committed to the project,” Lopez said. “We are committed to the project, there are several steps we’re taking to make sure the reliability improves in that area, it’s just going to take some time.”
Lopez said residents should not expect power outages like those in December, but weather, especially strong winds, can cause problems with power lines.
“When we see strong winds, and straight-line winds, it’s sometimes going to affect the power lines, because without a building in a rural area to stop it, what we’re going to see is a down primary line, or something of that sort,” he said. “In December, we saw some very specific incidents that caused outages in the same area over and over again.”
AEP has crews on call whenever there are issues with power in an area.
“We have crews readily available, we have bolstered our lines in that area, and we’re making sure we’re prepared and we’re ready to respond for anything that happens, not just this season, but beyond; into the spring, into the summer, because we certainly don’t want that to happen again,” Lopez said.
However, Lopez said he apologizes to the people of Gregory who have been affected by outages, and appreciates their patience.
“We understand it’s frustrating, we really do, and we are working very hard to complete these projects, and to make sure we’re delivering the safest, most reliable electricity that we can to Gregory,” he said. “We apologize for any frustration, first of all, but we also thank everyone for their patience, because it takes time. It takes time to do it safely, and it takes time to do it completely and correctly, and that’s what our crews are focused on right now.”