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Icy tree limbs may cause power outages, Hill Country electricity providers warn

"We're preparing for outages," said Tachi Hinojosa, CEO of Central Texas Electric Co-op. "It's not a matter of 'if,' but 'when.'"

SAN ANTONIO — Hill Country electricity providers are preparing for potential power outages this week as freezing rain moves across southern Texas. 

Ice began to accumulate on power lines around Fredericksburg Monday, Central Texas Electric Co-Op (CTEC) CEO Tachi Hinojosa said. 

"The major concern, when it comes to icing... is going to be trees that break onto the line," he said. "We're preparing for outages. We believe it's not a matter of 'if,' but 'when.'"

CTEC services portions of Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Llano, Mason and San Saba counties. 

"Trees are a big deal in terms of outages, whether it's a winter storm like right now or a 30 mph wind day," Hinojosa said.

Hinojosa said CTEC Monday sent home its standby crews to rest and prepare for overnight shifts. Workers stocked up on materials necessary to repair downed distribution lines and utility poles. 

The utility will call in extra workers on Tuesday to answer phones and take outage reports, Hinojosa said. 

Many Texas residents may experience local power outages during the cold weather, but ERCOT predicts the state power grid will meet electricity demand. 

Icy weather may damage some power lines, but forecasters do not expect temperatures to plummet as low as Christmas. Grid conditions were considerably tighter ahead of the holiday than on Monday. 

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