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      Thousands without power amid Valley freeze

      Thousands of homes and business are without power amid a freeze that has descended on the Rio Grande Valley.

      AEP Texas officials report that at least 7,200 homes and businesses were without power as of 11:15 a.m. Thusday.

      The power outages are spread throughout Hidalgo and Cameron Counties.

      At least 5,900 homes and businesses are without power in Hidalgo County while another 1,200 are without power in Cameron County.

      Crews are working to restore power in the affected areas.

      AEP Texas and the Brownsville Public Utilities Board are asking area residents to limit electricity use to prevent circuits from overloading.

      Officials made the following recommendations.

      Set the thermostat at 65 or 68. Special consideration will be given to the ill, elderly, and children. Turn off unnecessary appliances or electronic equipment. Please refrain from washing, drying or baking during this time. Turn off the lights in any room not being used.

      Those without power are asked to call their electric provider. AEP Texas customers can call (866) 223-8508 to report outages.