Storms leave behind mess, thousands without power

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Most people around the city have electricity again after severe storms Monday night left thousands without power. At the height of the outages, approximately 12,000 lost power.

GOING IN-DEPTH // Austin Energy response

  • Austin Energy said 10 crews started working on restoration and tree trimming about 9 p.m.
  • By 10 p.m, 14 crews worked on the repairs.
  • By Tuesday afternoon there were 23 repair crews working.
  • Officials say storms like the one on Monday are pretty rare, especially given the amount of damage in such a short amount of time.

At one point Tuesday, nearly 1,600 people still didn’t have electricity.

Crews were still dealing with downed power lines and trees, and debris from the storm left plenty of cleanup work for many residents.

“It took a corner of my house off,” said Joe Jones. He said the storm started off tame at his Central Austin house, but quickly escalated. “It has to be replaced. It also knocked a chunk off of the upstairs deck.

Across the street a downed power line from wind gusts estimated at more than 50 miles per hour knocked out power for many in the neighborhood.

“The winds were going crazy, the trees bending sideways, limbs everywhere,” said Tibaut Bowman. He and wife just moved back to Austin from New York last month.

A spokeswoman with Austin 311 says they were slammed with phone calls reporting everything from trees down to people without electricity. But with extra staff on hand, they were prepared.

“A typical Monday night, from 7 until midnight, we expect 400 calls,” said Patty Mendoza with 311. “Yesterday we got over 2,000.”

Jones made one of those calls himself. The first step in what he expects to be a long cleanup.

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