February 17, 2021 - Unfortunately, today’s update brings unwelcome news.
DETEC is currently reporting approximately 22,000 meters without power. This is 50% of the DETEC system. All outages now are due to ice accumulation. Half an inch of ice can add as much as 500 pounds to a power line, and damage can begin when accumulations exceed a quarter of an inch. Additional weight can be applied if a tree branch breaks off and rests on it, increasing the potential for the power line to come down. Rolling blackouts and load issues are no longer the primary issues as much damage to the system has occurred now.
Crews are fighting a loosing battle trying to restore power in the current conditions, but they continue to work to the best of their ability. We will have crews work until dark today as the road conditions will deteriorate as the temperature drops.
In full transparency we have as much damage, if not more, as we did from prior hurricanes. At this time, we estimate that power restoration may take up to 3 weeks to complete.
Due to the amount of outage calls coming in, our phone system has been unable to keep up. We are aware of these issues and have escalated this concern to the appropriate channels. We hope to have this issue resolved soon.
If you are dependent upon electricity for medical needs, seek an alternate location. Call 911 for medical emergencies, do not wait it out for the power to be restored. The Texas grid issues are too fragile, and the weather is too extreme to risk depending upon a quick restoration process.
We know what you are going through because the employees of your co-op and their families are going through this with you. As always, we will work as quickly and as safely as possible. Together, we will overcome yet another blow that Mother Nature has issued us. Please check on our neighbors, especially the elderly and those with children.