Afternoon Update: Controlled Blackouts to Continue
As much of Texas remains iced in and without power, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and cities across the state have begun advising consumers currently impacted by power outages that they may remain without power into tonight and potentially as late as tomorrow afternoon.
This remains the worst winter weather event to grip Texas in decades, and some users are approaching 12 hours without power in various parts of the state. Houston is particularly hard hit, nearly a quarter of the city without power as 670,000 users are impacted. 30% of the city of Austin is without power, and city and state officials are still cautioning residents across the state to conserve power.
Why is your power out?
ERCOT tells utility operators to reduce their load on the grid, and the utilities turn off power to specific circuits in the city. Some circuits are required to remain open, like those connected to hospitals, utilities like the Texas Gas Service, and facilities for first responders like police, fire and EMS. If you have power and your neighbors don’t, you’re likely on a circuit tied to an essential service and may not be subjected to rotating blackouts once ERCOT allows utilities to begin cycling users back into service.
The danger for users still with service remains weather related outages triggered by weather damage to trees and power lines.
When will your power be back?
Unfortunately, officials are still scrambling to answer that question and are largely at the hands of ERCOT allowing municipalities to restore services. If regeneration improves, that could be sooner rather than later, but every indication right now is that this could potentially last into tomorrow afternoon.
Please check in with your city’s official social media accounts for important information about warming centers and shelters in your city if you need to go to a warming center. Not all locations are being publicly disclosed to help manage the inflow of residents and manage social distancing due to COVID-19 concerns.