ERCOT says system is back to normal; more than 21,000 Austin Energy customers remain without power

A residential road in Central Austin remains covered in snow and ice as of the morning of Feb. 17. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
A residential road in Central Austin remains covered in snow and ice as of the morning of Feb. 17. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

A residential road in Central Austin remains covered in snow and ice as of the morning of Feb. 17. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Power has been restored to about 96% of Austin Energy customers as of Feb. 19 morning, and the state’s grid operator, the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas, has announced that operations have returned to normal.

According to PowerOutage.us, an independent power tracker during disasters, more than 21,000 Austin Energy customers still have no power.

View Austin Energy's outage map here.

However, ERCOT said that situation is no longer because of issues on their end and is likely due to one of three reasons.

  • The outage is due to local ice storm damage.

  • They are connected to a circuit that needs to be manually brought back online by local crews.

  • They are a large industrial facility that voluntarily shut down during the emergency.


"There is enough generation on the electric system to allow us to begin to return to more normal operating conditions," said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT’s senior director of system operations, in a Feb. 19 statement.

At the height of the power outages that resulted from unprecedented winter storms for the area, as many as 220,000 Austin Energy customers were without electricity as temperatures dropped and remained well below freezing.


Electricity began returning for a significant portion of the city Feb. 18. Sparse outages remain throughout the city, with the largest outage in Northwest Austin, impacting 1,350 customers. ERCOT announced that although the systems were back to normal, conservation was still encouraged.

Although much of the city now has power, most of the city is out of water, and all of the city is under a water-boil notice. Austin Water, the city’s water utility, could not give a timeline on when the water would return.
By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and several other local outlets along the east coast.


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