Storm Sparking Concern of Power Outages

Utility crews are on standby and bracing for the possibility of power outages in our area. Thousands of residents in Oklahoma are already in the dark because of an ice storm.

Xcel Energy says they are tracking the weather minute-by-minute and say they will move crews from areas not affected by any power outages. "We're able to call people in those areas and pull them off other jobs and and so what we've done today is we've alerted crews that they might be pulled off what their normal duties are," said Wes Reeves, spokesperson for Xcel Energy.

The American Red Cross is warning residents to prepare for possible outages by putting together an emergency kit, even if it seems the storm might not hit. "People get tired of hearing about it and they say we get prepared and then nothing happens. But then when you're not prepared is when it will happen and that's true in any disaster," Vicky Richmond, Executive Director of the Red Cross in the Texas Panhandle.

Some items Richmond says you should have in an emergency kit, include: Water, Food, Medication, and a heating service like a Kerosene stove or wood for a fireplace. You should also have a flashlight and batteries. "If you do have a power outage and you can get in your car to leave that would be a good thing, assuming there's not too much ice or snow.  So think about your alternative plan," said Richmond.

Xcel Energy says they are prepared to move quickly to try and fix any power outages and ask for help from other utilities. "The way the patterns have been the last couple of years, it seems like Amarillo, Pampa, Dumas, those towns get hit a lot with weather. So we're able to bring people up from the south to help," said Reeves.

If you have a power emergency you can call Xcel Energy at 800-895-1999.  Customer information can be reached at 800-895-4999.