From Austin Energy at 9:45 a.m. Monday, February 6, 2023
|Crews Working Hard to Bring Power Back On|
More than 95% of Austin Energy customers now have power. As of 8 a.m. this morning, we have restored power to 325,074 customers since the beginning of this winter event. We are now focusing on the most complex and time-consuming restoration efforts. Forecasted wind and rain this week could further complicate these efforts.
Based on current information, we expect to restore power to nearly all remaining customers by Sunday, February 12. Those that require electrical repairs to customer-owned or maintained equipment may take longer. This estimation is based on:Rate of restoration since the start of the stormNumber of workers involved in the restoration processA more complete damage assessmentAnticipated rainy and windy weather Austin Energy continues to prioritize restoration for critical loads and customers who have been without power the longest. We expect many of our remaining affected customers will have electricity before Sunday. The expected weather conditions this week may: Damage power lines and already weakened treesCause additional outagesIncrease the risk for lineworkersSlow restoration progressWe will reassess the situation and provide a revised update midweek.Emergency Shelter Available
For individuals and families without electricity who are unable to secure alternative accommodations, call 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 to request overnight lodging. The City of Austin emergency shelter has sleeping cots, shower facilities, food/water, pet sheltering and charging stations.
The City of Austin is working with community partners to meet requests. After customers request shelter, they should expect a call from City staff between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m with information on next steps. Access to the emergency shelter will remain open until all power is restored in the Austin Energy service area.
Stay InformedGet updates on Austin Energy’s restoration and recovery work at austinenergy.com/go/restorationTune in for Austin utility emergency alerts at austintexas.gov/alertsFind outage information at outagemap.austinenergy.comGet the latest news releases on winter storm recovery at austinenergy.com/go/newsWatch the latest news conference in the ATXN archiveFollow Austin Energy on social media:Facebook.com/austinenergyTwitter.com/austinenergyYouTube.com/austinenergy
From Austin Energy at 12:35 p.m. Sunday, February 5, 2023
|Crews are still working 24/7 to restore power. |
More than 92% of Austin Energy customers have power. We know some of you are still waiting, and we are working hard to get your electricity back.
Restoration challenges of access and complexity continue. Our crews and those from partner utilities are gradually overcoming those obstacles.
As of 9 a.m. this morning, we have restored power to 300,485 customers since the beginning of this historic winter event. Our work continues.
As crews finish getting large outages repowered, restoration progress is slowing while we repair severe damage on smaller outages. When broken equipment is buried under piles of tree debris, this kind of damage is complex to repair. Small outages in this environment can take just as much time and effort to restore as big outages. Sometimes the only difference is how many customers we can get back online.
A two-hour repair could restore power to 1,000 customers, or 10 customers, because of where the outage is on the circuit. Our crews are trained and prepared for these challenges — it just takes time for them to do their work safely.
After a telephone pole snaps under the weight of ice and the force of falling tree limbs, crews have to establish a safe perimeter, remove the pole, make it safe, set a new pole, install new cross arms and transfer the remaining equipment over to the new pole. Depending on how much equipment was loaded on the pole, this one instance could be a full day’s work for a crew.
What you can doReport any visible hazards on a power line to 512-322-9100. Never touch a downed power line or a tree limb on a downed power line. Assume downed power lines are energized and stay away from them. Do not try to clear trees from lines yourself.Crew members from Austin Energy, New Braunfels Utilities (NBU), Renegade, CenterPoint Energy, Bird Electric, CPS Energy, MP Technologies and Tempest Energy, may knock on your door asking to access Austin Energy equipment. Please work with them to allow access.Report your outage. If your power comes back on then goes off again, contact us to report your outage, especially if you see your neighbors have power, but you don’t.Please remember to slow down and move over for any utility crews working to restore power and remove debris from power lines.If your power is not on yet, please unplug/turn off appliances, electronics, thermostats, pool pumps, pool heaters and vehicle chargers left on before the outage to prevent overloading the circuits.Safety TipsPortable generators can be very dangerous to members of your household and the crews working to restore your power. Keep generators outside and at least 20 feet away from a window, door or vent. Get more portable generator safety tips.Never fuel or use a portable generator, charcoal grill, camp stove or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, place of business or garage.Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning! Never run a car or truck inside a garage, even if you leave the garage door open.Get more winter weather safety tipsStay InformedTune in for Austin utility emergency alerts by bookmarking COAUtilities.com, austinenergy.com and austintexas.gov/alerts .Find outage information at outagemap.austinenergy.comGet the latest news releases on winter storm recovery at austinenergy.com/go/newsWatch the latest news conference in the ATXN archiveFollow Austin Energy on social media:Facebook.com/austinenergyTwitter.com/austinenergyYouTube.com/austinenergy
|From Austin Energy at 8:59 a.m. Friday, February 3, 2023|
|We hear you. We are working hard. We will not stop until your electricity returns.|
During this week of historic and catastrophic ice striking Central Texas, you have gone through a lot. You have dealt with darkness, cold, worry and many of you have damage to your homes and property from the storm.
More than 100 well-trained crews from Austin Energy and partnering electric utilities are working around the clock to get your power back on, despite obstacles in conditions and access to equipment to make needed repairs.
Between 5 p.m. yesterday and 7 a.m. this morning, we restored power to 49,193 customers, for a total of 182,159 customers restored since the beginning of this winter event. That number will continue to rise today.
We know how frustrated you are about the pace of repairs. We’re frustrated too and we recognize we still have work to do.
Here’s why power restoration is taking so long, and how you can help.
Most of the outages from this ice storm are very complex. The crews on scene must locate and assess the cause of the outage and communicate with other crews and the control center, often during challenging conditions. Austin Energy crews prioritize power restoration to get the greatest number of customers back online in the least amount of time.
When will the power be back on?
While weather conditions have greatly improved, we are unable to provide a specific, system-wide restoration estimate. We know this is difficult for customers without power. Thankfully, outage restoration numbers are going up because trees have stopped falling and more than 400 professionals from Austin Energy and neighboring utilities are working to get your power back on.
The safety of our crews and our customers is paramount.
This work is often quite hazardous and takes special care. Our crews strive to restore power to customers as efficiently as possible. Please give the crews lots of space. They need to follow all safety protocols and protect you from harm by making sure you stay a safe distance away.
Restoration crews are dealing with:Multiple hazards: Severe, prolonged ice storms like this cause complicated repairs. One fix on a power line might be one of 10 different fixes on that line to get power back to your home.What you can do: Report any visible hazards on a power line to 512-322-9100. Never touch a downed power line or a tree limb on a downed power line. Assume downed power lines are energized and stay away from them. Do not try to clear trees from lines yourself.Repeated damage: We complete a repair and restore power, then another tree falls and the problem repeats, requiring more work and more time to make a new repair. This means customers get power back, but only briefly, until the final repairs are complete.What you can do: If your power comes back on then goes off again, contact us to report your outage.”Nested” outages: These are multiple outages making one big outage. One repair does not fix the whole outage. With a nested outage, you might see power on in your neighborhood, but not at your house.What you can do: If you see your neighbors have power but you don’t, contact us to report your outage.Circuit overload: Lights, electronics, thermostats, chargers and appliances left on and/or plugged prior to the outage can immediately cause an outage when power comes back on. This is called cold load pick-up and happens because the circuit is forced to work too hard too quickly and is overloaded.What you can do: If you don’t have power, turn off thermostats, light switches and anything that you can think of that might have been on before your outage, including electronics and appliances. Leave one light on so you can see right away when the power comes back.If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 9-1-1.
Why was this ice storm so bad here, especially compared to past storms?
Unlike other parts of Texas and past storms, this ice storm brought us extensive moisture and ice accumulation, which had a direct impact on Austin’s dense tree canopy and vegetation. The resulting ice that piled up on power lines, trees and equipment added hundreds of pounds of force and caused massive destruction. This caused electrical distribution lines and nearby vegetation to sag, break or come into contact with one another.Branches falling or leaning on power lines have contributed to the outages across our 400-square-mile service area. Despite Austin Energy’s increased efforts throughout this community in the last two years to trim trees and clear lines, nature pushed these trees to new breaking points. Huge trees have completely uprooted and/or fallen on power lines and made roads impassible.A half-inch of ice adds as much as 500 pounds to a power line and causes the line to break, even if that line is brand new.Ice build-up on other electric system equipment can cause components like switches to malfunction or break, requiring work-arounds that take more time to make repairs.Reporting a power outage:Report your outage by texting OUT to 287846, visiting outagemap.austinenergy.com, or calling 512-322-9100.The outage map updates every 10 minutes, showing updates to general areas, not specific addresses.Due to the large number of outage reports, you might experience instances where information you submitted times out or you don’t receive a response. If that happens, please submit your information again.Austin Energy is working with the outage map vendor to resolve remaining reporting issues.Electrical Safety TipsIf using an electric space heater, be sure it has an automatic shut-off switch and non-glowing elements, and make sure to keep away from flammable materials.Never heat your home with a gas oven or burn anything in a stove or a fireplace that is not vented. Do not burn paper in a fireplace.Portable generators can be very dangerous to members of your household and the crews working to restore your power. Get portable generator safety tips.Stay InformedTune in for Austin utility emergency alerts by bookmarking COAUtilities.com, austinenergy.com and austintexas.gov/alerts .Follow Austin Energy on social media:Facebook.com/austinenergyTwitter.com/austinenergyYouTube.com/austinenergy