Omaha Public Power District was warning residents to avoid downed power lines as the number of residents without power climbed past 50,000.
"When wet snow falls onto branches with leaves, it can quickly drag branches down onto power lines," according to an update on the OPPD website. "If you encounter a downed power line, DO NOT APPROACH. You should assume all downed lines are still energized."
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At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, OPPD was reporting that more than 13,000 of its customers — most in Douglas County — were without power and has called in additional crews to respond to the outages.
By 12:45 p.m., more than 19,000 were affected, with the outages including Sarpy, Washington, Saunders, and Cass counties. Less than two hours later, that number had climbed to 45,499; by 2:30 p.m., it was up to 49,290; at 2:45 p.m., 51,562 customers were affected by the outage.
At 3:15 p.m., OPPD was reporting 53,638 affected customers.
Are you without power? If you haven’t already, please report your outage so we have your address in our outage system. 800-554-6773 or https://t.co/uFwDQvsKU5
— OPPDCares (@OPPDCares) October 14, 2018
At 5:30 p.m., OPPD was reporting 49,000 customers without power.
Reports of power outages started coming in around 11:45 a.m.; 5,281 customers were initially affected.
OPPD was attributing the outages to trees weighed down by the steady snowfall.
"Wet snow combined with tree limbs that still hold leaves are contributing to power outages in the Omaha area," the OPPD website reported at 12:15 p.m. Sunday.