Power Outages

National Weather Service

Update: A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for much of Central Texas until noon.

Original Story (5:44 a.m.): Central Texas is getting some much-needed rain. The numbers and affected areas are changing constantly. So here's a roundup of how to find the latest information for your neighborhood:

1. Road Closures/Low Water Crossing Closures

ATXfloods.com: Current flood information and emergency road closures in the City of Austin, Travis County, Sunset Valley and Cedar Park. Information is automatically updated. Red dots indicate low water crossing closures and the list on the right provides details. Updates are also posted to Twitter.

2. Rain Totals

Some parts of Central Texas have received as much as an inch and a half of rain since midnight – including Llano and Elgin.

Courtesy of Jerome Weeks / KERA News

From StateImpact Texas: 

Against the backdrop of a debate over whether Texas has enough power generation (i.e. power plants) to meet growing demand, two instances of large-scale outages in the past few weeks show a more common vulnerability: power lost to fallen or damaged power lines during storms. Could anything have been done to prevent the outages? The short answer is yes. But chances are you won’t like the full explanation.

Emily Donahue, KUT News

Update (6:58 a.m.): About 1,200 Austin Energy customers remain without power this morning. High winds yesterday broke tree limbs and brought down power lines.

At one point yesterday afternoon, around 18,000 Austin Energy customers were without power.

Right now, Austin Energy repair and tree trimming crews are working to fix harder-to-reach problems. An Austin Energy spokesperson tells KUT News that power should be restored to most customers by early this afternoon.

Customers should report outages by calling (512) 322-9100.

facebook.com/austinenergy

Update: Austin Energy now confirms the number of power pole fires last night was a record. The utility says tree limbs did not contribute to the large number of fires.

Update: Austin Energy says "power has been restored to virtually all customers, and will be restored to any remaining customers by lunchtime."

Austin Energy spokesperson Ed Clark says the utility experienced "probably a record number" of power pole fires, which lead to widespread power outages. And Austin's lack of rain, mixed with heavy overnight misting, is to blame.

Austin Energy writes:

The rash of fires is the result of a lack of rain over a long period of time. Dirt and dust builds up on the small devices (called insulators) that connect power lines to power poles. Misty conditions such as those experienced overnight can cause the dirt and dust to track across the insulator providing a pathway for electricity to move from the power line to the pole. There are about 140,000 power poles throughout the Austin Energy system.

"What the system really needs is a very good rain, a good hard rain to clean off ... the power poles in the Austin Energy system," Clark says.

Austin/San Antonio National Weather Service

It’s a windy, chilly morning. There’s a wind advisory in effect for all of South Central Texas until noon today. A freeze warning is in place starting at 11 p.m.

The cold weather is moving across Texas, even bringing some snow to the Dallas area this morning.

The wind was a factor in power outages that left more than 3,400 Austin Energy customers in the dark this morning. Austin Energy spokesman Ed Clark says damage to a pole knocked out power to about 2,300 customers around Brodie Lane and William Cannon Drive. Clark expected power to be restored to about 70 percent of those customers by 7:30 a.m.

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