Arctic Weather Update - NEC Coop
Feb 3, 2022 — News
NEC Co-op Energy continues to monitor a strong arctic front which arrived in the South Texas area this morning and which is expected to affect weather into this weekend. Forecasts include a potential for winter weather including rain, sleet and ice, possible snow, and high winds. Any ice accumulations will depend on where you live. Weather details for your area can be found at https://www.weather.gov/forecastpoints
As with any weather event, power outages are possible as a result of freezing temperatures, high winds and possibly ice. Power line crews stand ready across Texas to respond to outages, but please keep in mind that they may not be able to respond as quickly as normal if roads become icy.
As always, power outages should be reported to you power line company. NEC Co-op Energy does not service your power lines. If you don’t know who you should call, you can find contact information by visiting our website at https://neccoopenergy.com/report-an-outage/
Make preparations immediately in case you experience an extended outage.
- Members who have a household member who relies on life support or other medical equipment should have a backup plan in case of an extended outage. Your power line company will work to restore power as quickly as safely possible, but cannot guarantee how long restoration may take.
- Plan to use a safe alternative heating source, such as a fireplace or wood-burning stove.
- Keep extra blankets and warm clothes on hand to help you stay warm.
- Make a plan to keep your pets and livestock warm and out of the cold as much as possible.
- Put together an emergency kit with enough non-perishable food and water to last your family at least a few days. Don’t forget to include food and water for your pets too.
- Fully charge phones, tablets and laptop devices. Also charge a power bank and keep it on hand to charge your phone or other devices as needed during the outage.
- If you use a portable generator, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions properly.
- Never operate a generator in a home, garage or other enclosed space. The generator should be placed outside in a well ventilated area, at least 10 feet from any windows or doors, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Don’t plug the generator directly into your home’s wiring. This could cause back-feeding onto power lines and injure line workers restoring power to your home.
- Always plug equipment directly into the generator using only safety-tested electrical cords designed and rated for outdoor use.
Texas Grid Conditions
At this time, ERCOT is predicting the Texas grid is in good shape for this event. It is not requesting nor anticipating any conservation nor load shed (controlled outage) requests. But if conditions change and generation resources become unavailable ERCOT could request conservation and/or load shed by power line companies. We will notify our members if ERCOT changes this status. Please monitor our Facebook page for any updates. For immediate alerts about the electric grid, we recommend you download the ERCOT app (Apple App Store or Google Play) and enable push notifications. Texans are also urged to visit the PUCT website at https://www.puc.texas.gov/storm/ to check power outages across the state and view other storm related resources and support.
We know NEC Co-op Energy members and all Texans are worried about the possibility of a repeat of the February 2021 experience with Winter Storm Uri. The State reports there is more power capacity, more reserve capacity and more natural gas facilities recognized as critical infrastructure for this event. In addition, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), working with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), are collaborating on a new model of coordination and communications with power companies to better ensure reliability and avoid load shed or controlled power outages during this event. Nonetheless, local outages from wind, ice and vegetation issues will be common during a weather event such as this. Please report your outage and, again, if you don’t know who you should call, you can find contact information for your power line company by visiting our website at https://neccoopenergy.com/report-an-outage/