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      Rolling blackouts to start again in the Valley

      Rolling blackouts are once again underway throughout the Rio Grande Valley due to an overload in power transmission lines from people heating their homes.

      The Texas Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has instructed the three electric companies in the Valley, Brownsville PUB, AEP and Magic Valley Electric Co-Op, to conserve power to avoid a shutdown in the electric grid.

      All three companies announced they will begin rolling blackouts throughout the early Friday morning, and should last between one and one and a half hours.

      Cameron County Emergency Coordinator Johnny Cavazos told Action 4 News downtown Brownsville and large parts of Harlingen were without power as of 1 a.m. Friday morning.

      He said that anyone who needs to stay warm during the rolling blackouts should go to a local shelter.

      Cameron County crews are out at this hour picking up people in county units and transporting them to shelters.

      Rolling blackout will continue throughout the Valley until ERCOT decides the danger or losing the electric grid is lessened.

      As of 9:30 a.m. Friday, AEP Texas reports there are 43,740 homes and businesses without power in the Rio Grande Valley:

      Hidalgo County 21,203 Cameron County 17,286 Starr County 4,602 Willacy County 649

      Action 4 News will post more information as it becomes available.