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Dallas judge urges residents to check on friends, neighbors without power

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A Dallas County official is asking for residents with power to check on friends and neighbors who may not have power.

He's hoping the spirit of the season gets people to help those in need.

As the sleet turned to slush Friday and the hours of winter cold wore on, the realization that power lines might stay frozen set in, so emergency officials pleaded to those with power.

"We're asking those who are fortunate enough to consider reaching out to their neighbors to make sure those neighbors are okay and to family and friends and offer them an opportunity to stay with you," said Judge Clay Jenkins.

Oncor reported 2,500 crews trying to restore power across the Metroplex, but that was little solace for Mesquite resident John Kinsey, who's been using his stove for heat since 6 a.m. Friday.

Kinsey needs electricity for his breathing machine, and had to resort to charging a portable one with a car charger.

"I take four treatments a day, but I haven't taken any today because I don't have any electricity," he said.

"I understand when power goes out, you have certain areas you've got to take care of…hospitals, police departments, fire; but the thing that upsets me is that people that need the power are put on the back burner," said Kinsey.

Many outages were the result of torn tree limbs weighed down by ice leaning on low-hanging lines.

At SMU, classes were cancelled. Most students stayed indoors, but some saw the rare white sight and ventured on a walk.

By dusk, the novelty had worn off.

Jenkins took his own family to a hotel because they had no heat, and he urges those in a similar situation to make a plan for the next few days.

"If your plan is that surely my power will come on in the next few hours, that may not happen, and you need to have a plan to keep you and your family safe," he said.

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