More than a quarter-million businesses and households in Central and East Texas did not have power Wednesday morning as a winter storm persisted, immobilizing portions of the state with slick roadways and freezing temperatures.
Approximately 258,411 customers, out of about 12.7 million tracked, did not have power, according to PowerOutage.us. The state’s main power grid remained stable. On Tuesday, Texas power officials said the grid had sufficient reserves to ensure stability through the weather event.
It was not clear how long the local outages would last.
A spokesperson for Austin Energy, which reported more than 100,000 outages, told the Austin American-Statesman that crews had been dispatched but that some repairs may take longer than others.
“These weather-related outages are widespread. Ice is bringing down power lines and tree limbs,” the city’s utility officials wrote in a tweet. “Crews are facing icy roads & frozen equipment making it difficult to provide estimated restoration times. It’s possible some customers may be without power for 12-24 hours.”
Meteorologists warned of possibly difficult traveling conditions. State officials have been urging people in the affected areas to avoid travel unless it was imperative.
“As severe winter weather continues across Texas, please remain aware & heed guidance from local officials,” Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted Wednesday. “If you need to drive, check road conditions in your area at http://DriveTexas.org. Report power outages to your local provider.”
Winter storm warnings and advisories, as well as ice storm warnings and advisories, remained in effect throughout the state from Amarillo to the Houston area, according to the National Weather Service.
“One final surge of moisture is anticipated to overrun the subfreezing air at the surface today and lead to more icy conditions from the Lone Star State through a majority of the Mid-South,” NWS meteorologists wrote in a morning forecast. “Additional ice accumulations up to a half inch are forecast across much of central and north-central Texas, as well as parts of southern Arkansas.”
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/02/01/texas-ice-storm-power-outages/.
The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.
Photo: A vehicle rests on a barricade as the driver lost control and slid off Highway 6 on Tuesday Jan. 31, 2023 in Waco, Texas. Winter weather brought ice to Texas and nearby states Tuesday. (Jerry Larson/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)
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