According to Austin Energy, customers that had maintained power through the early part of the week could have been impacted by the storm, which produced up to 3/4 of an inch of ice in some parts of the Austin area. The ice has caused downed tree limbs and power lines, with Austin Energy responding to 39 active hazards in the area.
“Customers who have sustained outages should expect outages to continue until the situation improves,” the utility wrote at 7:30 a.m. Feb 17. “Customers should be prepared to not have power through Wednesday and possibly longer.”
Austin Energy, and many of its counterparts across the state such as CenterPoint Energy and Oncor, have to limit usage in order to adhere to ERCOT mandates by implementing blackouts across the city, while maintaining power to critical infrastructure such as hospitals, fire stations and emergency medical service stations.
An estimated 186,701 customers, or 37.44% of Austin Energy users, were without power as of 9:55 a.m. on Feb. 17. That number is an increase of about 2,000 compared to 7 p.m. on Feb. 16, prior to the storms, but does indicate an improvement from Feb. 15, when more than 200,000 users had lost power.