AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than a hundred utility crews are working Thursday to restore service to the thousands of homes that remain without power because of the major ice storm.
Jackie Sargent, the general manager of Austin Energy, shared the utility currently has 85 of its own crews in the field responding to outages throughout the area. Additionally, Austin Energy has assistance from 32 crews sent by neighboring utility companies.
Sargent said more crews are set to arrive Thursday afternoon from the Houston area to provide even more help.
All of that work resulted in restoring power to more than 113,000 customers in the last day. However, Sargent acknowledged that’s little consolation for the hundreds of thousands of homes that still have no electricity. She and other city leaders anticipate most service to return by Friday evening.
“We are working as quickly as possible to restore power to all customers,” Sargent said during a news conference Thursday morning.
At the same event, city leaders discussed how difficult the work is to restore power to Austinites because the weight of the ice keeps bringing down more trees, limbs and utility lines. Sargent said there are frustrating instances where crews are having to return to repair some of the circuits they just restored.
“It feels like two steps forward and three steps back,” she said.
City leaders asked people to stay away and not touch any power lines brought down by trees or limbs, adding that they should assume those lines are still energized. If fallen limbs are not entangled by power lines, then people are asked to cut those apart and place them by the curb so that the city can collect those.