RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – Many Texans have been left without power as a result of the high winds, with many outages reported here in the Rio Grande Valley.
The strong winds have even taken down commercial signs near busy intersections.
Local first responders are asking that you take precautions from the high winds.
The national weather service sent out a wind advisory warning of winds reaching up to 50 miles per hour, which could be damaging.
“We obviously have some high winds today. We just urge the public to use some caution, especially when you’re driving, be careful. If you’re in a high-profile vehicle be sure to have both hands on the wheel. With wind speeds we are experiencing today, we could easily take you out of your lane and into oncoming traffic,” said Joey Albritton, Assistant Fire Marshal for the Harlingen Fire Department.
The high winds are potentially damaging for powerlines, Albritton shares some recommendations for if you see a downed power line.
“Yes sir, absolutely. With wind speeds like we’re currently experiencing, it can wreak havoc on the utilities. Especially power lines, if you see any type of wire hanging from a utility pole, just stay away from it. Treat everything like it is energized and be mindful that electricity can conduct through metal fences, through the ground, through water,” Albritton said.
Local 23 also spoke with Nathan Flores of the Cameron County Emergency Management, “Potentially the possibility of wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour. So, the concern is that the impact could be some loose objects in residential areas such as maybe garbage cans. Or maybe patio furniture or Christmas decorations that may be blown away.”
“A small fire can get out of control, spread nearby combustibles, dry vegetation and structures. So, we recommend not to do any type of burning today,” said Albritton.
If you ever get caught between powered lines while you’re in your vehicle, the Harlingen Fire Department recommends that you stay in your vehicle to avoid electrocution.
They say the only exception is if you see fire, in which case they ask you to evacuate immediately.