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Rolling power blackouts expected in Houston due to winter storm

Local officials warned residents that the power may cut out as freezing temperatures hit the Houston area.

HOUSTON — Across Southeast Texas, people are facing a very dangerous and life-threatening situation.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo called it a dual-threat of ice and extreme cold temperatures.

RELATED: Winter storm live updates: 10-car pile-up reported on I-45 Gulf Freeway just south of downtown

County and City of Houston officials warned about the possibility of rolling power blackouts. They said conditions are going to get worse by the hour.

Both Hidalgo and Mayor Sylvester Turner signed emergency declarations.

“If we did get a little bit more freezing rain then we’re expecting that could result in more widespread power outages so right now we’re thinking isolated to sporadic power outages but people should be prepared to potentially lose power and also as you heard earlier conserve power as much as you possibly can to help the grid stay up,” Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner said.

Lindner said CenterPoint crews will have a hard time getting around.

“Getting to where we potentially have down power lines or trees and tree limbs on power lines, if you can’t go out there and travel, it’s going to be very difficult for them to go out there and travel,” Lindner said.

However, there are plans in place to get them out as fast as possible.

“If there is a certain area that has a power situation to try to have the sand and salt trucks available to help those power crews get to those locations so they restore power,” Lindner said.

Sporadic power outages can be expected Sunday night, Monday and Tuesday.

Turner said they can happen more than once and last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Right now, officials said if you do find yourself without power, you are safest at home.

Hidalgo said anything will be better than getting caught outside.

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