AEP Crews on Standby for Looming Temperature Drop

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WESLACO – American Electric Power crews are on standby in anticipation of Wednesday’s drop in temperatures.

Company spokesman Lee Jones said electric grids in the Rio Grande Valley are built to better handle energy demands in summer than in cold weather.

“We get these cold winter snaps, most of the outages are caused just by overloads. The typical heating requirements run about three to four times what the typical cooling requirements so we see an extra-large amount of load on our system during these cold winter snaps,” said Jones.

A Mission neighborhood was left in the dark mid-afternoon Wednesday. AEP crews were dispatched to restore power in the area before nightfall.

Crews across the county were tending to other areas, including a neighborhood in Weslaco.

Zaida Rodriguez, her sister-in-law, and family visiting from Houston were left to deal with the cold air overnight.

A bad transformer behind their home blew out. They resorted to warming up periodically in the car.

Power was restored to Rodriguez’s neighborhood after nearly 24 hours in the cold.

Jones explained transformers get fully loaded during cold snaps and the older or weaker ones will fail.

He said often more homes than accounted for are connected to the same grid so the system struggles to result in outages.

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