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Ohio Ice Storm Could Cause Power Outages

WEST COLUMBUS (Andrew Michael/Kate Liebers) -- The ice storm expected this week could mean power outages for Ohio residents -- and power crews can do little to prevent it.
Power lines surrounded by tree branches are particularly at risk. Ice weighing down the limbs will likely weigh down the power lines, and branches snapping under the pressure could cause an outage.

Lisa Hooker of South Central Power Company said crews can prepare for outages, but cannot prevent them.

"There's nothing we can really do in advance of a storm," she said. "Other than ...perform regular upgrades to make our system as strong as we possibly can."

Hooker said the company has back-up plans in case the number of power outages becomes overwhelming.

"At times we do call in extra help," she said. "We do have agreements with other contractors that we call in when thresholds are reached."

If residents do lose power, Hooker advised turning off all the appliances to speed up the repair process.

"That reduces the electric load, so when our crews make repairs, there is less of a load that they have to bring back online," Hooker said. "The less the load, the faster we can bring it back on."

Residents may also find backup battery packs for about $20. A fully charged pack can recharge a phone about seven times.
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