AP NEWS

Storm causes thousands of outages

May 22, 2019

Thousands of Odessa homes were affected by the strong winds of the hailstorm Monday night, which Oncor said caused an estimated 4,000 outages in the city of Odessa.

Oncor Spokesman Gus Ortega said by Tuesday morning they managed to whittle that number down to about 400 outages, and by Tuesday afternoon they had lowered that number even more to only about 50 customers without power.

“We had crews working through the night and we still have crews working right now,” Ortega said. “We will continue to work until we get all the customers affected by the storm back on.”

Ortega said central Odessa was first affected by the storm Monday evening, and the storm later that night affected much of south Odessa and West Odessa.

Many residents in those areas didn’t seem to be too affected, with many saying they only had brief power outages or their lights just flickered. The hail didn’t seem as damaging either, with only one south Odessa resident, who declined to give his name, saying his car had a couple of small dents caused by the hail.

Assistant City Manager Phillip Urrutia also said the city didn’t see any of its property or buildings damaged from the storm last night.

While some could label this event a catastrophe, State Farm Insurance Agent Chris Wray said every insurance company has a different threshold for what they consider a catastrophe. For State Farm, Wray said the storm would have to cause around 400 claims for automobiles or fires for the event to be a catastrophe, and said his claim volume has been low so far following the storm.

“There’s been a few car claims,” Wray said. “I think my office has done like five or six today. Other agents have told me they’ve only done five or six. I think the claim volume is gonna be relatively low.”

Odessa was affected by a much more severe hail storm around this time two years ago, but Wray said everyone had fairly new roofs following that storm, and there weren’t as many people driving during the storm this time around.

“It might cause a catastrophe code from the wind, but the hail wasn’t really that dense and it wasn’t heavy hail like the ’17 storm,” Wray said. “It could get declared a catastrophe but right now I don’t see it.”

In comparison, Wray said his office handled about 100 claims in two days following a hail storm in Midland about two weeks ago.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.