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Downed Power Lines Near UT

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News
Electric utilities across Central Texas are bracing for extra work today, because of the danger of high winds blowing into power lines.

Today's windy and very dry conditions don't just have firefighters on the alert.

Austin Energy crews were sent to W. 24th and San Gabriel Streets about 10 a.m. to repair a downed power line. Supervisors think today's gusty breezes played a part. With wind forecast to gust up to 40 miles per hour today, the city utility is bracing for what could be a busy day.

"One of the things our arborist and foresters are telling us is that there are a number of trees in this town that probably have some difficulties, and perhaps they're even in danger of dying," Austin Energy spokesman Ed Clark told KUT News.

"When you have gusty winds like this, you have a greater chance, obviously, of tree limbs breaking or moving around, because they're weak, due to wind," Clark said. "We generally--and very often--will see a little spurt of outages when we have gusty winds, and that's what we're prepared for today."

Clark said their maintenance crews are fully staffed today and ready to take care of any power line issues that might crop up due to gusty winds.  You can check out the latest information on power outages on Austin Energy's outage map. 

Ian Crawford joined KUT as News Editor in 2008, after spending over four years as a reporter/anchor at KLBJ Radio in Austin. He began his broadcasting career while still in high school in Southern Oregon. During high school and college at the University of Oregon, he worked at times as a reporter, news anchor, sports play-by-play reporter, music host and commercial producer before moving to Texas in 2003.