Winter Weather Update #4

Good morning, AP. Chief Blanchard here with an update on the weather and the City’s ongoing efforts.

UPDATES:

From the office of the Emergency Manager:

  • We are almost out of the critical portion of this winter weather.
  • Northshore Emergency Room has been inundated. Please limit your use of their services to emergency related matters only. This will make sure those services remain available to those most in need.
  • Fuel supplies in the area are either unavailable to getting to critically low levels. Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services have been instructed by the Public Safety Director, Chief Eric Blanchard, to move to the front of fuel lines to fuel up emergency vehicles and obtain fuel for our local shelter as needed.

From the the Office of the City Manager:

  • All city offices will reopen at noon, whether electricity has been restored or not. City employees have been notified and shall return to normal work hours.

From AEP/ERCOT:

Issued: 2-15-2021; 9:30 p.m.

ERCOT instructs AEP Texas and other electric utilities to shed additional load from their systems

At 6:30 p.m. Monday evening, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) instructed AEP Texas and other electric utilities to increase the number of service interruptions in addition to the existing interruptions that began early Monday morning.  
The total number of outages for AEP Texas currently stands at 441,000, following this evening’s directive from ERCOT to shed additional load.  The number of outages increased from the 367,000 AEP Texas customers who were without power this afternoon.  Earlier in the day, ERCOT projected that utilities would be given the go-ahead on Tuesday to begin full restoration of service. We will continue to keep you informed of new developments.  
AEP Texas is prepared to begin restoration of service to customers as soon as it receives the order from ERCOT.   Circuit loading due to the length of time customers have been without power could result in some customer groups not having their service restoration delayed further.

“This latest request has significantly increased the number of customers without power,” Jeff Stracener, AEP Texas vice president of Distribution Region Operations.  “Once we get the go-ahead from ERCOT, we’ll do everything we can to restore power as quickly and safely as possible to respond to this statewide issue, which has left thousands without power throughout the entire state.”  

As ERCOT lifts the controlled outage directive, AEP Texas and other utilities will restore service to customers and complete any needed repairs.  In the meantime, customers can help ensure a smooth restoration of power by taking the following steps:

  • If you lose power, turn off your heating, and large appliances to enable smoother service restoration.  
  • Once power is restored, you should switch the devices back on gradually over the following 30-to-45 minutes. Taking this step will help prevent a sudden surge in demand after power is restored, which could cause a second outage.
  • Energy conservation measures are urgently needed now through Tuesday.  Steps to help reduce electricity use include:
  • Turn the thermostat down 2-to-3 degrees • Set programmable thermostats to lower temperatures when no one is home.
  • Limit use of large appliances (i.e., dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) • If you cook indoors from 2-to-8 p.m., use a microwave or slow cooker.
  • Close blinds and drapes during late afternoon.

Electricity Reminders from the City:

  • Electricity will likely remain out for much of AP and many communities in the Coastal Bend due to issues that arise when trying to recover from rolling outages.
  • Rolling outages will continue per ERCOT due to high power consumption and not enough production of energy.
  • Report outages to AEP direct via aeptexas.com/outages or (877) 373-4858.  
  • AEP is working diligently to restore energy due to issues outside the rolling blackouts.

PREVIOUS RELEASES:

Again here is some vital info for you to keep handy:

Stay tuned here for more updates as they become necessary. Also, be sure to update your emergency contact information for our emergency alerting system by visiting our CodeRED page here: https://police.aptx.gov/ea.

– Chief Blanchard.

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