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Rolling power outages in Highland Lakes

Rolling power outages expected in Highland Lakes

The Highland Lakes remains under winter storm warnings after 3-5 inches of snow coated Central Texas Sunday, Feb. 14, into Monday, Feb. 15. Electric companies are implementing rolling power outages of around 20 minutes each across the area to protect the power grid from massive outages. Photo by Daniel Clifton

An unprecedented winter storm has triggered the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to direct transmission companies to reduce the demand on the system, which is typically done through “rolling outages” or temporary interruptions of electric service. Other power interruptions, which lasts longer than the 20-minute rolling outages, are caused by downed power lines and other weather related problems.

The temporary interruptions began across much of Texas, including the Highland Lakes, overnight Sunday, Feb. 14, into Monday, Feb. 15.

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

Rotating outages could be initiated until this weather emergency ends, which might last until Thursday, Feb. 18.

“This type of demand reduction is only used as a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole,” reads an ERCOT press release sent out over the weekend. 

The demand reduction effects the Lower Colorado River Authority, Pedernales Electric Cooperative, and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, as well as most Central Texas area electric providers. ERCOT manages the flow of electricity to more than 26 million Texans which accounts for about 90 percent of the state’s electric load.

PEC and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative are implementing steps to help reduce demand including service interruptions.

“These service interruptions will continue as long as the regional grid operator experiences peak demand,” PEC officials stated in a press release. “If an interruption occurs in your area, please take proactive steps for power restoration.”

This includes, according to PEC, turning off all electrical appliances affected by the outages as well as circuit breakers to major appliances. 

“Once power is restored, members can avoid electrical overload by turning their appliances back on in 15-minute intervals,” according to PEC. 

ERCOT also recommends turning down thermostats to 68 degrees; closing shades and blinds to reduce heat loss; turning off and unplugging non-essential lights and appliances; and avoid using large appliances. Businesses should minimize electric lighting and electric equipment use as much as possible, and ERCOT recommends large electricity consumers consider shutting down, or at least reducing non-essential production operations. 

Conserving electricity should only be made as safely as possible.

Check the electricity providers’ websites for updates, or follow their social media accounts including PEC’s Facebook page and Twitter, as well as Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative’s Facebook page.

Members can also report outages to PEC at 888-883-3379 and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative at 800-949-4414. 

PEC members can also check the coop’s outage map.

editor@thepicayune.com 

11 thoughts on “Rolling power outages in Highland Lakes

  1. I hope with all the illegit blackouts that the power companies realize how ineffective the handling of this emergency and give every customer a major discount on the bills sent out…we pay a good penny for power anyway we shouldnt have to pay for power companies unpreparedness

  2. Ask anyone who lives in the panhandle of Texas if they have these issues during their yearly freeze up cycles. The electric providers in that area are fully prepared for extended freeze times. They do not loose power they don’t do rolling black outs, they just do what they are paid to do. Provide power to customers consistently. Think about the power usage during the heat of the summer when hvac units are running 24/7. LCRA keeps up with that just fine. Yet, LCRA can’t plan ahead for a weeks worth of freezing weather? It’s nothing more than poor service, poor planning from a government controlled entity that only has its own best interest in mind. Private energy companies know that kind of service doesn’t work well for them, because it doesn’t take care of their customers.

  3. This is absolutely absurd!! I am a widowed mom of two young children and we live outside of the city limits. There has been no “warning” of when these outages will occur nor the duration. I was in the middle of making my children hamburgers last night when the power went off.. my daughters first comment “ mom, now we are going to starve!!”, as she’s bursting into tears. With no power comes no water as we are on a well..if the well is not being tasked, guess what happens in below freezing temperatures? The power has been off more than on in the last 48 hours. Shame on PEC for not sticking to a schedule. Also would like to know who is responsible for any damages due to these power outages… ie loss of pet life (ones that may need a heat lamp), loss of food (extended outage times causes freezer/fridge temps to drop below safe temps to Maintain food), loss of appliance because of power surge upon coming back on and recovered medical costs because a person has no heat and is subject to freezing temperatures inside their own homes, causing illness. Again I say, this is absurd!!!

  4. You should have sent out an advanced email or call notice to let us know what was going to happen and when? The outage caused pool pumps to freeze up which in turn caused pool and spa to be frozen over… won’t know the extent of the damages until it that’s out. Also to be able to rescue our 89 year old mother from her small cottage when the heat and power was going out.

  5. We had to leave our home in Kingsland and we came to marble falls to stay in a hotel because our power has been out since 4 am Monday. Now, the power just went out at the hotel in marble falls.

  6. I guess I can consider myself lucky as our neighborhood has been on an interval of six minutes of power on then two seconds off. This allows us to have light but…my heating system takes seven minutes to reboot so I’ve been without heat since this ‘pulsing’ started on Saturday morning.
    I commend PECO workers for doing their best during this emergency situation but the customer communication hub is a failure as far as I’m concerned. I’ve tried to submit an outage report on the PECO web site and keep getting error message (try again later) and via the phone number listed in the article and was ‘hung up on’ each time I tried. An emergency communication system only works if you can communicate with them during an emergency. They’ll need to take a long look at their system as, to me, it has failed.

  7. So much for “rolling blackouts”. We’ve been without power twice since Sunday night–once in the middle of the night for about 2-3 hours, and again today from about 10:30 to 1:15. Seems the inside temp gets to about 57-58 degrees and they kick the power back in. So much for a first-world country; I feel like I’m living in a third-world country, again.

  8. Lost power at midnight. Was finally restored at 9:45 AM. Have lost power again at 5:30 PM. With a forecast of 5 degrees hope it is back on soon.

  9. We live in Buchanan Dam and have been without power since 9pm sunday night. Please send some power our way. This is getting serious for an elderly couple!!

  10. I agree. My area, Kingsland, has been without power since 4 am. Don’t think that meets the criteria for a “rolling blackout!” If this is true, TEC, I don’t agree with ERCOT! Our home has been without power for almost 12 hrs! No rolling blackout here!

  11. I’m not sure who is experiencing ‘minutes’ worth of outages, but our home and everyone I’ve spoken to has been without power for hours and hours. This is highly dangerous and I’m not understanding how PEC was not better prepared for this.
    We already have known extensive damage and the temps haven’t let up yet, so I can only imagine how bad things will be once they do. Unreal.

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