Thousands still without electricity across Central Texas; freezing rain threatens power lines

Roberto Villalpando Claire Osborn
Austin American-Statesman

9 p.m. update: Austin Energy says about 32,000 customers are still being affected by  outages in the Austin area, adding that most of the issues stemmed from trees and brushes. 

Shortly after 8 p.m. Austin Energy also reported that more than 4,800 customers in East and Northeast Austin were being affected by outages. 

8 p.m. update: Thousands of Austin Energy customers were still without power Thursday evening, with many of the outages being reported in the northwestern portions of the city. 

Austin Energy's outage map also showed more than 900 people being affected by outages near the Bee Caves Business Park, around the intersection of Barton Creek Boulevard and Bee Caves Road. The most recent outages in the area were reported around 7.19 p.m. Thursday.

Hundreds of outages were also reported in neighborhoods just south of Lake Travis, between 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday. 

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Earlier: More than 17,600 Austin Energy customers in 70 separate outages were without electricity as of 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon across Austin as freezing rain continued to threaten power lines.

Work crews were expected to restore power to about customers — of whom some had been without electricity since 10:30 a.m. — sometime Thursday.

Austin Energy customers can call 512-322-9100 to report outages or text OUTAGE to 287846.

Power outages also have affected 4,200 Oncor customers in Williamson County in the cities of Round Rock, Taylor, Hutto, Jarrell, Granger and Weir, said Armando Perez, an Oncor Regional manager.

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He said the company expects to restore power by 7 p.m. Thursday. Most of the outages have been caused by icy tree limbs interfering with power lines, he said.

Outages reported Thursday afternoon by the Pedernales Electric Cooperative affected 687 people in the Spicewood area, 270 people in the Liberty Hill area, 199 people in the Cedar Park area and 129 people in the Georgetown area.

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, whose coverage area includes parts of Bastrop, Williamson and Travis counties, had 144 members in Bastrop without power on Thursday.

“We haven’t had a whole lot of weather-related outages,” said Will Holford, a spokesman for the cooperative.

He said Bluebonnet has already restored power to 56 members in Thrall who lost power on Wednesday night. The cooperative is making sure its crews are rested and ready to go and has also called in contracted crews to augment is coverage, he said.

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