More than 3,000 without AEP Texas service

HARLINGEN — More than 3,000 customers in the AEP Texas service area were without power by mid-afternoon today as high winds and plunging temperatures arrived.

Most of the outages — about 1,700 — were clustered in Matagorda County north of Corpus Christi, although around 400 customers were without power in Beeville.

Elsewhere, outages were small in number and spread widely across the utility’s South Texas area.

In cold weather events earlier this winter season, AEP Texas officials urged people to turn off thermostats if a home or business loses power.

If everybody’s thermostat is on when the power grid comes back up, it can blow AEP circuit breakers all over again as each home’s furnace tries to re-start at the same time.

Make sure you turn off any burners, or your stove’s oven, in case you leave home and forget.

Also, set thermostats to a level two to three degrees cooler than normal so heating systems are not using as much electricity in order to lessen strain on the power grid.

Close blinds and curtains to keep heat from escaping a room.

Only use large appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines or dryers outside of peak usage hours.