Houston workers head north to help Oklahoma families with major ice storm

HOUSTON — As the winter weather system Jupiter threatens to pummel most of Oklahoma with a crippling ice storm, Houston workers are on their way to help our neighbors to the north.

“It's always a big fear of traveling in ice. We're not used to travelling in ice, so we have to be awful cautious,” Thomas Klesel of CenterPoint Energy said.

CenterPoint Energy is sending 150 linemen, contractors and other support personnel to southwest Oklahoma to assist local utility companies with anticipated power outages.

“They're anticipating anywhere from about a half inch to an inch of ice buildup on the lines if that happens with strong winds, then it starts breaking the poles, trees, and everything ends up on the ground,” Klesel said.

Here in Houston, even the mention of ice throws the city into action. Schools and roads are often closed and 'snowpocalypse' like behavior runs rampant.

These workers headed north are aware of the very real danger they may encounter in the coming days.

"Safety is our number one concern, so we make sure that all of our employees know that and take the time to be safe. We have snow chains for our trucks, if it gets to that point we also have snow cleats for the linemen, and for the personnel there so they`re not slipping and falling in the ice as well,” Klesel said.

The ice storm also threatens much of the Central Plains and northern most reaches of the Texas Panhandle, but should spare the rest of the Lone Star State.

For our hometown crews headed to help, be careful up there with 'Jupiter.' We might not deal with much in the way of ice, but we know a thing or two about named weather events, and it's almost never good.