Power outage brings North Texas community together

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by COLLEEN COYLE

WFAA

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 11:47 AM

DALLAS -- Oncor's text messaging system was supposed to make things easier, but instead it blew another fuse.

Faulty text messages and miscommunications about power outage updates left many North Texas residents frustrated and still in the dark.

After more than 75 hours without power and answers, one Oncor customer was fed up.

"I've gotten text messages that said we were up. I've gotten them that we have no power outage reported at all. I've gotten a lot of we're reassessing... We're reassessing... We're reassessing. You're back on! We're reassessing. So really I've gotten no straight answers from Oncor at all," Dijea Coplin said.

Her power had been out since Friday morning. And each text message from Oncor was more confusing than the last.

"Oh, I would easily say there are 100 text messages here," Coplin said.

She'd rather hear nothing than get fed misinformation.

This a feeling shared by many who were still in the dark Monday. This storm was the first big test for Oncor's text messaging system, and there's still some kinks to be worked out.

"It's a system that we think is going to be really helpful for our customers. Obviously, we've had some issues with inaccurate reporting and things like that," Oncor Spokesperson Kris Spears said.

Monday morning Dijea’s power came back on – but it wasn’t Oncor that did it. It was a helpful hand of a neighbor. Jeffrey Hargrove lived down the street and had spent the weekend hooking up his neighbors' houses to generators.

"I was cold in my house [...] and I had a way to get heat for me and I figured out a way to get heat for them," Hargrove said.

It was warm hearts like Jeffrey’s helping to heat houses in this tight-knit community.

Dijea continues to wait for answers while trying to stay warm and busy – lighting candles, boiling water, even storing milk on the back porch. She hopes the next text message from Oncor may have words worth reading.

UPDATE: Just minutes after leaving Dijea Coplin's home Monday, her power was restored. Now, she is busy warming up and getting back to normal life.

 

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