Houston-area residents frustrated after hours without power

KTRK logo
Monday, February 15, 2021
Frustrations grow after hours without power
It's not just here. It seems like it's everywhere across Texas, and it's not boding well with people.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Homes and businesses are in the dark, police and fire stations are depending on backup generators, and it's not boding well with a number of Houstonians.

As city leaders urged conservation Monday morning, customers pointed out there wasn't anything to conserve.

"Just how frail is this infrastructure that a predictable cold snap could have this impact?" one frustrated resident said.

RELATED: Systemwide power failures reported across Texas during winter storm

More than 2.5 million customers were in the dark across Texas as ERCOT, the state's power grid manager, was in the process of managing rotating outages.

Electricity wasn't the only problem Monday as a historic winter storm covered the state in snow and ice.

"Yep. 6 hours and counting, now with bonus water outage as well," one resident tweeted in reply to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Demand for power was at just above 49,000 megawatts Monday morning, which was just short of a 50,000 megawatt system capacity, according to ERCOT. One megawatt of electricity can power around 200 homes during periods of peak demand.

Over 30,000 megawatts of power generation was offline Monday, ERCOT officials said.

"Every grid operator and every electric company is fighting to restore power right now," said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness.

Rotating outages will likely last throughout the morning and could be initiated until this weather emergency ends, officials said.

"My whole neighborhood has been without power since 2:30 a.m.," one resident said on Facebook. "But Centerpoint said that no one is available to accept calls for power outages. Four hours without heat is too long for this weather!"

Electricity use Sunday night shattered a previous record set in 2018 as extreme cold weather and frozen precipitation blanketed the entire state, crippled transportation and put most of the state below freezing.

The last time the state had to implement rolling outages was in 2011 when another major storm brought cold, ice and snow as far south as the Rio Grande Valley.

Dressing in layers, covering up windows and eating are just a few of the things you can do.