Some Houstonians still without power even as vast majority of lights are turned back on

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The sound of generators has replaced the laughs of kids in the courtyards of South Oaks Apartments.

Outdoor grills are makeshift stoves.

"You do feel forgotten, you feel a little bit left behind," said Sergio Ramirez, who sat at the door of the apartment he shares with his sister and a cat.

They last saw power four days ago. This Gulfton area complex is one of the last places in Houston where power is not yet restored.

"I'm upset but I'm not surprised," said a resident, who points out that residents of working class apartment complexes are used to unreliable electricity and water.

"Very similar to my country," said Raphael Lyeh, who was trying to boil water on a charcoal grill. The Nigerian native says electricity was often spotty in his homeland, but doesn't recall going four days without any power. "Very, very surprising to me."

Since Monday's storms, residents across Texas have grappled with no power and intermittent water. Overnight, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) allowed providers to turn on power to most of the grid.

"I will just tell you it's a little early," said ERCOT President Bill Magness this morning when asked to grade itself on the response. "I'll give a good grade to the operators who took those actions, to prevent a catastrophic blackout, and much more damage to our system. Going forward, there's going to be a lot of investigation, assessment examining every step in this process and how our response is, I really think other people ought to grade us."

CenterPoint says close to 99 percent of Houstonians now have power. At South Oak Apartments, the aging infrastructure has made restoring power a challenge. We saw contractors trying to get the power turned on, working section by section.

Until that happens, neighbors will continue to cook on their patios, and hope the electricity is restored.

Ramirez, taking a deep breath, looked around and said, "This is pretty much what America is. It's always been like this, kind of at its core."

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