As Central Texas braces for second day of the winter storm, thousands lose power in Austin.
Austin winter storm damage leads to power outage at reporter’s home
“I could actually hear limbs throughout the neighborhood crashing and then this one, of course, sounded really close. It’s right in our backyard.”
Tony Plohetski, Wochit
Thousands of Pedernales Electric Cooperative customers in Central Texas and the Hill Country are also without power.
Ice can cause tree limbs and other vegetation to freeze, snap and fall on power lines, resulting in mass outages.
Austin Energy spokesperson Matt Mitchell said crews are dispatched and working to restore power as quickly as possible. He added that each outage is unique, and some repairs will take longer than others, especially as treacherous road conditions make it harder to navigate the city.
The utility company tweeted that outages are widespread and some customers could see outages for 12 to 24 hours.
Temperatures could get above freezing for a few hours Wednesday afternoon, which he said will help crews get outages fixed faster.
What to do if you lose power
If you do lose power, follow this advice from Mitchell: don’t panic, stay inside, keep all windows and doors closed, unplug major appliances and heaters, layer up, grab some blankets and wait for the power to be restored.
In addition, do not use stoves, ovens or portable grills to heat your home, as it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning that can result in hospitalization or death. If you have a generator, be sure it’s in a well-ventilated area before using it.
While many in the region may be having flashbacks to Winter Storm Uri which caused massive power outages for days, this storm is not predicted to be that bad, and Mitchell said power will be restored as the weather warms over the next 24 hours.
“We as utility understand those memories are still very fresh,” Mitchell said. “This is not that. Our crews are in place, we are executing a plan, and we will safely and quickly restore power.”
Meanwhile, as of 6:30 a.m. the electrical power grid reports that there is plenty of power and it is operating within normal conditions. https://www.ercot.com/gridmktinfo/dashboards/gridconditions
Austin power outages reported early Wednesday morning
Here’s a timeline of outages throughout Austin, Central Texas and the state:
10:30 a.m.: Nearly 146,000 Austin Energy customers are without power, caused by 549 active outages affecting nearly 27% of customers.
8:45 a.m.: Oncor reports 16,127 customers in Williamson County, 6,446 in Travis County and 1,054 in Bastrop County are without power.
8:10 a.m.: 125,000 customers are without power, as 422 active outages cause nearly 24% of Austin Energy customers to lose power. Meanwhile, nearly 3,100 Pedernales customers in Williamson and western Travis County are without power.
7:40 a.m.: 21% of Austin Energy customers are without power as a result of 367 outages, affecting over 113,000. Nearly 11,000 Pedernales customers and over 240,000 across the state are also without power.
6:36 a.m.: 294 active outages resulting in nearly 85,000 Austin Energy customers being without power. Across the region, over 6,000 Pedernales customers are without power, while 197,000 in the state don’t have power.
6:18 a.m.: Over 73,000 Austin Energy customers are without power as a result of 256 active outages affecting 86% of customers.
6:00 a.m.: The number of Austin Energy customers without power continues to increase, as 204 outages are causing nearly 67,000 customers to be without power.
5:50 a.m.: Across Texas, about 161,500 customers are without power.
5:43 a.m.: Over 56,000 Austin Energy customers are without power due to nearly 190 outages across the region affecting 89% of customers.
5:43 a.m.: Nearly 2,900 Pedernales customers from Round Rock to Kyle to San Marcos to Dripping Springs are without power.