Blackout causes safety concerns for Fort Worth family

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 2 at 6:51 PM

FORT WORTH — The rolling blackouts were supposed to last less than a hour at a time, but for some it was much longer.

The Munson family of Fort Worth was very concerned because electricity is needed to keep their daughter safe.

They had to dress in their coats and hoodies to stay inside their home. Their conversation centered on how cold the weather was outside.

"We have total electric," said Angela Munson. "No fireplace. That means we don't have any means of heat right now."

The power shut off before 7 a.m. on Wednesday. It flickered on once and the meter hasn't moved since.

Eleven-year-old Alegna Munson worries about her asthma. She needs to use an electric nebulizer when her chest gets cold.

"I start wheezing and coughing, and I have to take a treatment," she said.

The Munson family was not the only one concerned. The entire neighborhood was worried.

Around lunchtime, there was a steady stream of cars that tried to leave the neighborhood to find a place warmer than their homes. Most of them headed to stay with relatives. Others went to the local coffee shop.

"We talked to her parents in Duncanville, and they told them it would be 15 minutes," said Barrett Shaw. "It's been six hours."

The Munsons stopped short of blaming the Super Bowl. They wonder about their utilities' priorities when it comes to power for football and families.

"I'm a fan," said Paul Munson, Alegna's dad. "The least they can do is give me some electricity."

For now, the Munsons just want to know when the power will come back -- or if another blackout is in the cards.

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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