snow damage.jpg

A downed tree is pictured in East Texas.

The power slowly came back on for many residents of East Texas, but some remained without power on Monday and concerned.

The Oncor outage said those without power in Tyler would have their lights back on by 10 a.m. Tuesday. Their website said there were 1,120 customers without power Monday as of 6:30 p.m.

AEP Southwestern Electrical Power Co. reported the storm knocked out power to 57,800 of their utility’s customers across Louisiana and East Texas and expects to have all customers back with power in East Texas by 10 p.m. Wednesday. They said Louisiana customers would have power back by 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

On Monday afternoon, Oncor provided a recording saying that power would be restored by 5 p.m. Monday.

For Kelly Bell, who lives near the airport in Tyler, 5 p.m. Monday is still a critical amount of time to be without power.

“I’m sitting here, freezing to death, hoping the power comes back before my insulin goes bad, and if it doesn’t I’m up a tall tree,” said Bell, who was able to charge his cell phone in his car. “It’s boring and nerve racking at the same time. Everything in the refrigerator is warm.”

Bell said he could not go to work Monday because he has an electric garage door opener and he was unable to open it manually. He was offered help from a reporter but declined, saying it was too late to go to work and he was hoping the power would be restored soon.

“It was frigid last night, I write professionally and my computer won’t come on and the television won’t come on,” said Bell. “When you call the outage number which I have memorized, I’ve called so many times over the years, you can’t get a live person, you get a recording. But many times it’s been a busy signal.”

He also heard the 5 p.m. message.

“The recording said it would come back on at 11 last night and it didn’t,” Bell said. “They’ve moved it to 5 p.m. today and that’s almost 24 hours.”

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John is a two-time national columnist of the year. He has earned top AP awards for news, videos and sports writing and won the Thomas J. Bulson Investigative Journalism award. He has appeared on CNBC's American Greed, FOX News and CNN.