It’s been a rough few days across Erath County this week after an ice storm packing more punch than expected knocked out electricity for thousands of residents, damaged trees and interrupted cell and internet services.

And perhaps no group understands those woes more than linemen who have been out in full force trying to restore power to homes and businesses in ongoing rain. 

United Cooperative Services says the restoration effort is one of its most challenging in the company’s history. 

“The ice has damaged and continues to damage poles, lines and other infrastructure,” United CEO Cameron Smallwood stated in a press release. “Again and again, linemen have repaired circuits and restored power only to have more tree limbs and ice-coated power lines break under the weight of the ice and damage the repairs. At the moment, we’re facing one of the most challenging restoration efforts in my 20 years at this cooperative, and members should prepare to be without power for several days. With that said, we will not give up until everyone’s electrical service has been restored.”

Erath County was the hardest hit, affecting members in the thousands. At 10 a.m. Friday, 4,988 members were still without power, some for the third day.

National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Stalley told the AP on Friday that up to 8 inches of rain has fallen over the last three days in parts of North Texas.

He said rain will continue into Saturday, when areas of East Texas could see hail and the possibility of tornadoes.