Thousands of Texas residents could be waiting days for power to be restored after last week's freeze
By Julia Jacobo, ABC News,
It may feel like spring in Texas, but some of the state's most populated regions are still reeling from last week's freezing temperatures.
Some of the most populated regions of Texas could be in the dark for several more days as crews work to restore the power grids that failed as a result of freezing weather in the state that lasted for several days last week.
More than 350,000 customers were without power in Texas on Friday due to the massive ice storm that brought freezing rain and sleet to much of the South, which weighed down power lines and trees. The destruction caused by the inclement weather prompted Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott to issue a disaster declaration in seven counties on Saturday.
By Monday, as temperatures soared back into the 60s in some of the hardest-hit regions, most of those outages had been restored. However, more than 34,000 customers remained without power, mostly in Travis County, which includes the City of Austin, according to Poweroutage.us.
Some customers may not have power restored until Super Bowl Sunday, especially as incoming wind and rain pose additional challenges, Austin Energy announced.
Despite the isolated outages in places like Austin, power failures were nowhere near as widespread as in 2021, when back-to-back winter storms caused a statewide energy catastrophe, killing more than 100 people, experts told ABC News.
But, this past freeze was not a true stress test of the grid, as temperatures were "much less intense" in terms of temperature and temperament, Ramanan Krishnamoorti, vice president of energy and innovation at the University of Houston, told ABC News last week.
Power plants in Texas have installed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of updates to better winterize their facilities since 2021, Daniel Cohan, associate professor of environmental engineering at Rice University in Houston, told ABC News.
Despite "record amounts" of demand on the grid, no widespread outages have occurred.
High winds have also allowed wind production to make up for any failures in coal and gas production this winter season, Cohan said.
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