Rolling outages possible; officials ask for limited power usage

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State officials are asking residents to limit their use of power and natural gas resources Sunday through Thursday, as the coming winter storm is expected to cause a huge demand on Texas’ power grid.

Residents are asked to set their thermostats no higher than 68 degrees, close their blinds and curtains, unplug unused items and limit use of washing machines and dishwashers during the peak hours of mornings and evenings.

In response to extreme winter weather conditions, area residents may experience rolling outages over the course of the next 36 hours.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration Friday afternoon for all of Texas as a massive winter storm threatens to wreck havoc on the state’s electricity grid, power lines and roads. Texas’ power grid could see record-setting winter electricity demand from Texans trying to keep warm this weekend, putting its capacity to the test and may result in rolling blackouts in Texas, or “rotating outages.”

CoServ said in a statement Saturday afternoon that the rotating outages have not been ordered yet by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, (ERCOT) that operates the electric grid and manages the deregulated market for 75 percent of the state.

If ERCOT deems it necessary, Oncor and other area utility companies’ customers will experience similar outages.

These outages would last in 15 minute increments and could happen several times within a 24-hour period, according to the news release. If you have signed up for outage alerts through CoServ, you will receive a text or email indicating an outage at your residence. If it’s a rolling outage, you’ll see a red box over the service territory with a red message indicating that mandated rotating outages are in effect. For additional information on rolling outages and how to sign up for alerts, visit http://bit.ly/3phM3ND.

CoServ has implemented its Emergency Response Plan and is asking all customers to reduce their energy consumption. Additional updates will be posted on CoServ’s website at www.coserv.com.

The rolling outages are related to the snowstorm approaching North Texas, which is under a Winter Storm Warning through Monday evening. The National Weather Service forecasts wintry mix to begin sometime around midnight and transition to snow on Sunday morning. The heaviest snow is expected from around 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday, followed by dangerous wind chills as low as -16 degrees. The weather service expects a 50% chance of 4 or more inches of snow in DFW.

About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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