Power crews working to restore electricity in Possum Kingdom

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by CHRIS HAWES

WFAA

Posted on September 1, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 1 at 9:19 PM

PALO PINTO COUNTY - The Possum Kingdom wildfire chewed through power lines and poles in the community, leaving 1,300 families and businesses without power, which means they have no air conditioning.

Thursday, United Cooperative Services worked furiously to change that.

The wildfire churned through The Cliffs, leaving charred power lines alongside blackened brush and bricks. The contrast between saved homes surrounded by green grass, and homes that were caught in the blaze is easy to see. Many families have little left of their homes but the number on the front.

About 100 power poles burned, knocking out power throughout the area. To restore it, United Cooperative Services crews have to rebuild poles and lines in areas still too dangerous for homeowners.

"It can be difficult at times," said Ed Nunez of United Cooperative Services. "You can see by the terrain - the rocks and the fire and the smoke and elements such as those things there. That can be challenging at some times, but these guys are dedicated."

As they worked, a fire just to the south, near Sportsman's World, grew in the distance. Helicopters raced overhead hauling water. The power crews will not leave unless firemen say they have to.

The crews are making progress.

"We're hoping that if the conditions stay the way they are, we'll be able to have majority of our membership back on by tomorrow evening," Nunez said.

E-mail chawes@wfaa.com

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