Arcing power lines causing problems in our area

September 5, 2011 5:42:35 PM PDT
At a time when the state is dealing with an historic drought and destructive wildfire season, the last thing you want to see is a live power line touching the ground near your backyard.

Residents in one Cypress neighborhood have been dealing with just that for days, and they're worried their homes could catch fire at any moment.

You can see this grass was charred by fire and you can see where the wire snapped. There's a similar problem just around the corner.

Imagine living feet from a power line with sparks shooting off power lines.

"This was happening all day," said Brian Smith, who captured the sparks on camera.

He and his neighbors have witnessed this problem for the last week.

"Everybody in this neighborhood would here this 'zzzzz' sound really loud and we would lose power," Smith told us.

They say powerful wind sends electrical wires swinging right into support wires, causing the lines to arc, snap, even drop to the dry grass.

"And then we'd get fires shooting up this Comcast line here in the back," said Peter Howard.

Just this weekend, Michael Kennard helped to put out two grass fires. The flames were very close to his backyard.

"Maybe five feet away from our back fence, so we were pretty worried," Kennard said.

"Since Saturday at 4pm, we've had about 10 calls so far," said Robert Rasa with the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department.

Rasa says strong winds are causing a lot of power line fires. And the wind carries it fast. As for how this been left, Rasa says, "It's possible, if it becomes energized, it could cause another fire."

A CenterPoint Energy spokesperson told us they've made temporary repairs to get electricity back on and permanent repairs are scheduled for Tuesday. Comcast crews are also working 24/7 to repair downed lines. Both groups have said they will have this problem fixed by Tuesday.

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