What Causes Power Outages in Texas? | Electricity Company | NEC Co-op Energy

The recent Hurricane Laura caused extensive damage throughout Texas, including damage to a major electric provider’s transmission system. As a result, more than 100,000 residents experienced rolling power outages in Texas.

The reasons for power outages may differ, and what causes them affects the length of time it takes to restore power back into your home. Be aware of the various outage-inducing hazards that can impact you.

1. Hurricanes and storms

Many power outages are caused by natural weather phenomena like rain, lightning, wind, tornadoes, flooding, and ice.

The high heat of Texas coupled with winds from the Gulf of Mexico make it prone to thunderstorms. Texas also has a lot of flatlands, making it a prime spot for tornadoes and high-speed winds. All of the coastal towns in Texas are more vulnerable to hurricanes due to their proximity to the Gulf of Mexico.

2. Flash floods

Hurricanes and storms can result in flash floods – a critical weather event that may come with little to no warning. Floodwaters or large debris can disrupt the grid and take down power lines, causing small or large-scale power outages.

3. Animals

Hurricanes and storms are two of the main causes of power outages, but our furry little friends can also hold their own. Animals can cause outages when they go inside or climb on equipment, which can trigger them shut for safety purposes. Utility companies strive to prevent this from happening by installing special fencing, custom covers, or wrap wires around an insulated tape.

4. Other minor accidents

Not all power outages are caused by natural phenomenon. Smaller things like car crashes or fallen tree branches are also culprits. Too many air conditioners during hot months or people digging in the wrong spot and hitting the lines underground are also known causes for power outages.

If you call the great state of Texas home, it would be wise for you to take some time to prepare for a power outage. This will ensure that your family is prepared and kept safe when this happens.

In case of a power outage in Texas, contact your utility company. You can determine the company that services your area by your address.

Check with your electric company to identify which number is best to use.

  • Centerpoint – 1-800-332-7143
  • Oncor    – 1-888-313-4747
  • AEP – 1-866-223-8508
  • TNMP – 1-888-866-7456
  • WTU – 1-866-223-8508

 

Sources:
“Power outages caused by Hurricane Laura prompt rolling outages in The Woodlands” Houston Chronicle, https://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/moco/news/article/Montgomery-County-avoids-storm-but-still-face-15520002.php
“Abnormally warm Gulf of Mexico could intensify the upcoming tornado and hurricane seasons” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/03/31/gulf-of-mexico-warm-tornadoes-hurricanes/
“8 Common Causes of Outages” Edison International, https://energized.edison.com/stories/8-common-causes-of-outages
“Texas Utility Companies” Compare Power, https://comparepower.com/utilities/texas/