Austin power outage updates: Austin Energy says 96% of customers have power

Hojun Choi Kelsey Bradshaw
Austin American-Statesman

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Austin Energy says 96% of customers have power

Austin Energy said 96.48% of its customers had power as of 7:09 a.m. Friday, according to the utility's outage map

The utility says 18,003 customers have no power. The outage map shows 409 active outages in the Austin area.

Austin Energy said the remaining outages may be due to issues such as trees on power lines or line fuses that need to be replaced. Some circuits may also be damaged and in need of repair.

"This repair process takes time. Process can still take several more days to get everyone back online," the utility said on Twitter.

It is also possible that outages may not be showing up on Austin Energy's power outage map. Officials said that  "may be an instance where the original outage has been resolved, but other issues exist, preventing restoration."

Customers who do not have power, but are not showing up on the outage map, should call Austin Energy at: 512-322-9100.

"We know some of you have been without power for days, and it has created hardships and extreme frustration. Please know we are working 24/7 and as quickly (and) safely as we can to restore power to everyone," the utility said. 

Trees around power lines causing problems for repair crews 

Austin Energy officials around 7:15 p.m. Thursday said trees and branches on power lines are causing issues for crews working to restore power to thousands of customers still without electricity. 

"We hope to have power restored to most of our customers in the next several days, but there will be some outliers that will take a longer time to repair depending on the damage," Austin Energy tweeted. 

Officials also said Austin Energy's outage map is not showing some areas that don't have power, adding that crews will work to restore electricity to all areas, regardless of whether they are showing on the map. 

Shortly after 7:30 p.m, about 37,000 customers were without power, according to the outage map. Some areas that were showing multiple major outages earlier Thursday, such as near East Riverside Drive and South Pleasant Valley Road, were no longer highlighted on the map. 

Most of the outage clusters reported in South Austin throughout the week were also no longer showing on the outage map on Thursday evening. 

Some areas that have been without power since Monday, such as along MoPac Boulevard, between William Cannon Drive and U.S. 290, still did not have electricity, according to the map. 

In a tweet Thursday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott claimed that there were no more residential outages that were related to power generation. 

More than 40,000 Austin Energy customers still without power

More than 40,000 Austin Energy customers were still without power around 5:45 p.m. Thursday. 

Customers in all parts of the city are still experiencing outages, but the outage map showed many areas with restored power. 

Austin Energy General Manager Jacqueline Sargent on Thursday said officials still do not know when most of the power will be turned back on. 

Areas around the intersection of East Riverside Drive and South Pleasant Valley Road were still showing thousands of customers affected by outages Thursday afternoon.  Some customers in the area have had outages since Monday, according to the Austin Energy outage map. 

During a Thursday news conference Austin Water officials said people currently without service could find themselves in the situation for the next several days. 

Williamson County Jail has heat, water, officials say

The Williamson County Jail has heat and water, Sheriff Mike Gleason said on Thursday. The jail has about 540 inmates currently, he said.

The facility lost power only once, for an hour on Tuesday, the sheriff said.

The jail used a backup generator it had when the power went out and gave extra blankets to the inmates.

Williamson County has more than 13,000 people with outages

The Oncor Energy map showed 13,384 people without power in Williamson County on Thursday afternoon. Pedernales Electric Cooperative had no significant outages in the county on Thursday, a spokesman said.

Outages statewide decreasing, but thousands remain without power

Austin Energy said 91.04% of its customers have power, according to a 1.18: p.m. update on the utility's outage map

The utility is still attending to 450 active outages in the area, which are affecting 45,911 customers.

Pedernales Electic Cooperative is responding to 322 outages that are affecting more than 2,000 people, according to its outage map

Oncor, which serves eastern Williamson County, northeastern Travis County and northern Bastrop County, reported dozens of outages across Central Texas. Its outage map showed as many as 8,000 customers without power.

Bluebonnet Electric Coop reported 68 outages in Bastrop County, one in Caldwell County and 30 in the eastern edge of Travis County, according to its online outage map.

Statewide outages are down to 425,651 as of 1:27 p.m. on Thursday, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks 12.5 million Texas homes and businesses

Statewide power outages down to half a million

Power outages across Texas are down to around half a million, according to PowerOutage.US.

As of 8:06 a.m., the website was reporting 515,508 outages. The website tracks 12.5 million Texas homes and businesses. 

On Wednesday at noon, more than 3.3 million were without electricity. 

\More than 77,000 Austin Energy customers without power Thursday 

More than 77,000 Austin Energy customers were still without power Thursday morning, as temperatures in Central Texas were expected to stay at or below freezing.

Austin Energy said the number of customers out was down from its peak of more than 220,000 customers who were without power earlier this week.

The utility is continuing to prioritize customers who have been without power the longest as they bring people back on.

The utility has no set estimated restoration time.

"If we power everyone back up at the same time, we will overload the system. Just like we shut down power in sections, we will restore power in sections. We’ve been doing so since Wednesday," Austin Energy said on Twitter

Austin Energy said its also dealing with downed tree limbs and other damage, including some that will not be obvious until the system is fully reenergized. 

Fewer outage clusters reported in Austin area, but many still without power across city

Austin Energy's online outage map showed that about 74% of its customers with power Wednesday evening, but multiple outage clusters persisted in areas that had first reported being without energy since Monday. 

More than 3,700 customers in East Austin remained without power around North Pleasant Valley Road and 12th Street. Thousands of customers in Southeast around South Pleasant Valley and Riverside Drive have also been without power since early Monday, according to the map. 

While some of the outage clusters in South Austin reported Tuesday were no longer showing on the map, such as those near Brodie and Slaughter Lanes. 

Some parts of North and Northeast Austin were also reporting fewer clusters of outages compared to Tuesday, but some areas, such as the Scofield Farms neighborhood, have been experiencing outages since Monday. 

Austin Energy warns rotating outages might return for people whose power has been restored

Austin Energy on Wednesday evening said that even though the utility company is not conducting rotating outages at the moment, circuits that have been restored could be rotated depending on demands on the grid overnight and requests from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. 

Customers whose power is restored should expect to be without power again for about 10 minutes during a rotation, Austin Energy said in a tweet. 

How often other rotations are required will depend on how many circuits have been restored, the utility company said. 

Power restored for some; for others, new outages  

Some areas affected by outages for the last few days regained power Wednesday —for now — but Austin Energy's outage map showed thousands remain without electricity. 

Around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, more than 70% of Austin Energy's customers had power, according to the Austin Energy outage map. The map showed that 149,377 customers were still being affected by outages. 

Several areas that were part of outage clusters in South Austin on Tuesday, including some parts of the Flournoy Acres neighborhood, showed fewer outages, according to Austin Energy. 

The map also showed new outages affecting thousands of customers around the city, including around the intersection of Riverside Drive and Interstate 35 in East Austin. 

Austin Energy restoring power to 16 circuits

Austin Energy is restoring power to 16 circuits after receiving permission from ERCOT, but officials said residents should not expect the power to stay on indefinitely as winter weather conditions are expected to continue.

The utility will be prioritizing customers who have been without power the longest, officials said.

Customers should not immediately crank up the heat, turn on all lights and plug in appliances, Austin Energy said.

"Please give the circuit time to power up completely," officials said. 

Austin Energy will start an outage rotation once the circuits are stabilized and "cold load pickup" is no longer present.

"Cold load pickup" is when circuits become overloaded due to lights, electronics and thermostats that were left on before an outage started. This can cause a second outage, officials said. 

Austin Energy will also need enough ERCOT resources to begin the outage rotation. 

At 1:29 p.m., Austin Energy reported 291 active outages affecting 163,673 customers, according to the utility's outage map

Austin Energy customers should be prepared to be without power through Wednesday night and possibly longer, the utility said Wednesday morning.

Customers are now being affected by the ice storm that moved into the area overnight. Outages are also continuing to help maintain ERCOT'S electric grid.

As of 7:53 a.m., 185,145 customers were without power, according to Austin Energy's outage map. 

Customers who have had power so far may be affected by the ice storm.

"Customers who have sustained outages should expect outages to continue until the situation improves," Austin Energy said on Twitter.

Residents should watch for downed tree limbs and power lines.

Those in need of a warm place to stay can call Austin 311 for transportation to a shelter at:

  • Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road
  • Mendez Middle School, 5106 Village Square Drive
  • Northeast Early College High School, 7104 Berkman Drive
  • Del Valle High School, 5201 Ross Road, Del Valle, TX

Officials in Austin, Round Rock dismiss rumors about water service 

Austin and Round Rock city officials on Tuesday addressed speculation that water service would be disrupted. 

Round Rock officials tweeted around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday that they had learned of false rumors speculating that residents may lose water service for several days. 

Customers with restored power may lose it again, Austin Energy says

Some Austin Energy customers who have had their power restored may lose it again, officials said Tuesday evening, pointing to orders from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to reduce power load in the area. 

"As the situation allows, we're working to restore customers who have been impacted by the statewide outages the longest," Austin Energy officials tweeted around 7 p.m. Tuesday. 

Josh Sklar, a resident from the Great Hills area in Northwest Austin, said his family first lost power on Thursday. After getting power back for a brief time on Sunday, he told the American-Statesman that his family is again huddled together in their closet for warmth. 

Sklar said neighbors have been communicating with each other over social media app Nextdoor. He said a growing number of messages are about calling for accountability from Austin Energy leadership. 

"We’re rationing out soup, pasta and crackers with no idea if it's going to be another day, two or three, with more frozen sleet coming in tonight and temperatures expected to drop to the teens again," Sklar said. "We have zero confidence in ERCOT and Austin Energy caring about us or doing anything."

New outages reported in Northwest and Central Austin

Austin Energy is reporting a new outage in Northwest Austin that is affecting about 1,000 customers in Robinson Ranch neighborhood, southeast of the intersection of U.S. 183 and Texas 45. 

Officials around 6:18 p.m. Tuesday also reported a new outage in Central Austin, near the University of Texas at Austin campus, that is affecting more than 1,700 customers. 

Austin Energy, around 3:23 p.m. Tuesday reported an outage near the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and Cesar Chavez Street in East Austin that is affecting 1,969 customers. 

An outage affecting about 2,621 customers was reported around 7 a.m. Tuesday in South Austin, near the intersection of Lamar Boulevard and Barton Springs Road. Earlier on Tuesday morning, Austin Energy officials also reported an outage in Steiner Ranch, just southeast of Lake Travis, that is affecting about 2,300 customers. 

Power restored for some in suburbs, but outages still widespread

Pedernales Electric Cooperative, which provides service to areas surrounding Austin -- including Cedar Park to the northwest, and Kyle and Buda to the south -- was reporting that more than 80% of their meters now had power. 

Oncor, which services about 53,340 customers in Travis County, reported that more than 33,000 customers are still affected by outages. Oncor also said about 40,000 of the 110,865 customers it serves in Williamson County are currently without power. 

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative reported that about 11,200, or 21%, of the customers they serve in Bastrop County are currently affected by outages. The cooperative also said it has about 3,100 customers in Travis County who are without electricity. 

Large clusters of outages still showing around Austin

With no immediate end to freezing temperatures in sight, thousands of Austin residents are still facing outages across the city and Austin Energy says they might continue beyond Tuesday. 

"Customers should be prepared to not have power through Tuesday night and possibly longer," Austin Energy said in a tweet sent 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

The Austin Energy reported clusters of outages across the city, with South and Southeast Austin showing the largest numbers. Most of the outages were first reported Monday, according to Austin Energy's outage map

More than 36,000 customers have been experiencing outages in South Austin. The Austin Energy power outage map showed clusters around multiple areas just south of Lady Bird Lake. A large number of outages were also reported along MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) between William Cannon Drive and Slaughter Lane. 

Austin Energy's online outage map shows multiple clusters of outages in South Austin on Tuesday.

Thousands of outages were also reported in areas along U.S. 290 between Brodie Lane and First Street. 

In Southeast Austin, more than 15,000 Austin Energy customers are affected by outages along Interstate 35, between William Cannon Drive and Onion Creek Parkway, as well as in areas around the Onion Creek Greenbelt. 

The Austin Energy map on Tuesday afternoon also showed a large cluster of outages in Northeast Austin around Parmer Lane and Tech Ridge Boulevard was affecting about 14,000 customers. A cluster of outages affecting about 10,000 customers was reported along Braker Lane and Rundberg Lane in North Austin. 

The outage map also showed a cluster of outages in Northwest Austin affecting about 7,500 customers in the Great Hills and Hardrock Canyon Neighborhoods. Outages were also affecting parts of downtown, Central and East Austin Tuesday afternoon. 

While the outage map shows the dates and times for the most recently report outages, some customers said they first lost power on Thursday.

ERCOT asks Austin Energy to shed more power Tuesday

The state corporation in control of Texas' electric grid asked Austin Energy and other providers Tuesday morning to shed more power, underscoring the gravity of the on-going electricity situation, but local officials warned that doing so could mean pulling the plug on circuits used to power critical infrastructure such as hospitals and emergency response stations.

The request to the city to shed more power came as nearly 220,000 Austin homes were without energy. That's about 43% of the utilities' customer base.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said he is frustrated and demanding answers from ERCOT.

"ERCOT has to explain how millions of Texans are without power," he said. "Rolling outages are not that. There have to be systemic changes. This is happening every 10 years and there's got to be a better plan."

ERCOT said Tuesday it expects to restore power to some customers in the afternoon, due to additional wind and solar output. ERCOT warned, however, that the number of controlled outages statewide remains high. 

More:ERCOT asks Austin Energy to shed more power, could mean outages for emergency services

More than 4.3 million Texans without power, according to utility tracker

More than 4.3 million Texans are without power Tuesday morning, according to a site that tracks outages. 

The blackouts, now in their second day, have left Texans cold, hungry and desperate, as they struggle to keep warm amid plunging temperatures. Bowls of water for pets have iced over and doors to running ovens being left open as many are reporting below-freezing temperatures inside their homes. Many Texans have taken to their cars to heat themselves up or trooped through snow to take cover at a friend's or relative's home.

More:More than 4.3 million Texans without power, according to utility tracker

More:Gov. Abbott makes ERCOT reform emergency legislative item amid blackouts

More:Gov. Abbott, lawmakers demand accountability from state electric grid operator

Thousands still without power throughout Central Texas

Thousands of people in Central Texas were still without power Monday evening, with more electric service providers reporting outages late afternoon. 

Austin Energy's outage map multiple new outages in North, Northwest South and East Austin as of Monday evening.

About 1,350 customers near the intersection of Mount Bonnell Road and Tortuga Trail were experiencing outages. Austin Energy reported around 5:51 p.m. that about 2,655 customers around Oak Knoll Drive and U.S. 183 were without power. About 1,720 customers were also without power near Riata Trace and U.S. 183, the Austin Energy outage map showed. 

In South Austin, the outage map showed that about 5,000 customers were experiencing new outage, just south of Loop 360 and MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1), and around Slaughter and Brodie lanes. 

Austin Energy also reported that about 1,969 people were affected by an outage at around 5:26 p.m. Monday. 

According to Oncor, 27,429 customers in Travis County were affected by outages as of Monday evening, along with more than 43,000 customers in Williamson County and 1,561 in Bastrop County. 

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, according to the most recent updates to its outage map, showed that more than 10,800 customers in Bastrop County were without power, along with about 7,500 customers in Travis County. 

Pedernales Electric Cooperative, which provides service to areas west and southwest of Austin, was reporting that about 42.1% of its meters were without power, as of about 8 p.m Monday. 

Power restored to hundreds of thousands of residents, but outages expected to last into Tuesday

Texas electric companies were able to restore electricity to hundreds of thousands of households that lost it early Monday, but many Texans' outages are still likely to last into Tuesday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas reported. 

"We know there are many people who are still waiting,” ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness said. “It’s also important to remember that severe weather, mainly frigid temperatures, is expected to continue, so we’re not out of the woods.”

Statewide outages have left about 2 million residents without electricity during freezing conditions. As of 4 p.m. Monday, roughly 2,500 megawatts of load was in the process of being restored, which is enough power to serve 500,000 households, ERCOT reported. However, the agency has forced about 34,000 megawatts of generation off the system while buildings' and homes' heating systems work overtime. 

Full story:Power restored to hundreds of thousands, but outages still likely to last into Tuesday

40% of Austin Energy homes without power amid failed 'rotating blackouts'

Nearly 200,000 Austin Energy customers woke up without power Monday and were not expected to get it back until Tuesday — possibly late in the day — because of a so-called rotating power outage that didn't rotate, leaving parts of the city in the cold and dark.

The outages began in the middle of the night, leaving swaths of neighborhoods without electricity, as already freezing temperatures dropped into single digits during an extraordinary winter storm that has raised questions about the city of Austin's and the state's ability to handle such an event.

Full story:'Basically we're stuck here': 40% of Austin Energy homes without power amid failed 'rotating blackouts'

Other outages in the Austin area: 

Here's how Austin Energy says it determines rotating blackouts

Austin Energy tweeted a thread Monday morning explaining how the company says it is selecting areas for rotating power blackouts to help ease the strain on Texas' power grid amid extreme winter weather.  

The city-owned utility said that it regularly updates a list of "critical loads," like hospitals, that are exempt from blackouts. While a rotating blackout is intended to only last around 40 minutes, many in Austin experienced hourslong power outages Monday. According to Austin Energy, because the utility had cut power from all areas not containing a critical load, the ability to rotate the outages had been limited. 

More:Here's how Austin Energy says it determines rotating blackouts

Track power outages across Texas

View this map to track power outages across Texas during the winter storm.