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Strong winds blamed for power outages

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High winds caused significant damage and left thousands without power across Austin.

From downed power lines, trees and fences, to overturned 18-wheelers there's a lot of cleaning up to do.

High winds caused a large section of an old tree to come crashing down in the 2300 block of San Gabriel on the west side of the UT campus. San Gabriel was shut down for a couple of hours.

Two 40 foot utility poles snapped after 50 plus mile an hour wind gusts blew through southwest Austin, Monday afternoon.

A witness told FOX 7 it sounded like a gun went off.

"It sounded like a shotgun went off. Plus the power lines phasing together. Apparently the city is trying to divert power around. We can lose a section of line and apparently they can divert power from other areas, but we're waiting to hear back from the city on that," said Gary Tucker.

Austin Energy says the poles are built withstand high winds, but may be old. However, we're told their condition is checked on a regular basis.

"We have a regular wood pole inspection process where we look for rot and we also inject them to keep them preserved," said Carlos Cordova of Austin Energy.

At one point, more than 18,000 customers were without power.

Motorists on the State Highway 130 toll road also felt the power of the wind late into the evening.

An 18 wheeler was blown over at Pflugerville Parkway. No word if anyone was injured.

Austin Energy estimates repairs are needed at about 150 locations. Customers who experience an outage are asked to call 322-9100.

LINK: Austin Energy - Report or view an outage


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