Powerful storm to hit SE Texas; Rolling blackouts may return
The prospect of snow, sleet and freezing rain mean a Winter Storm Watch is in effect from Thursday afternoon through Friday morning for the entire Houston area.
The combination of increased moisture and cold temperatures in the atmosphere is expected to generate a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain across southeast Texas on Thursday afternoon through Friday morning, resulting in hazardous conditions and dangerous roadways.
For an updated list of school closings, check here: http://www.chron.com/databases/openclosed.html
For the latest weather forecast, check here: http://blogs.chron.com/sciguy/archives/weather/
And for storm warnings, check here: http://weather.chron.com/US/TX/Houston.html
In addition, The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has directed power supply companies across the state to resume normal operations after Wednesday's systematic rolling power outages. Although these outages have ended for now, this could start up again if the high demand puts the Texas electric grid at risk. Consumers are urged to reduce their electricity use to the lowest level possible, including these steps:
Turn down your thermostat to 68 in the daytime and 55 at night or when you're away from home.
Avoid using large appliances from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Run only full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.
Unplug electronic devices you're not using.
Weatherize your home and seal air ducts.
Wrap your hot water tank with jacket insulation.
For more information on how to reduce your electricity, please refer to the following website: http://www.puc.state.tx.us/ocp/conserve/
Gov. Rick Perry made the following statement about rolling power outages resulting from the winter weather system sweeping across the state:
"Because of winter weather conditions that have created an unprecedented demand on the state's energy grid, many Texans across our state are experiencing power outages," Gov. Perry said. "Texas power and emergency management experts are working very closely with ERCOT and various utility providers to ensure power is restored as quickly as possible. Until that happens, I urge businesses and residents to conserve electricity to minimize the impact of this event."
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Grid Operations has asked utilities/transmission providers to implement rolling outages to compensate for a generation shortage due to numerous power plant outages occurring as a result of the extreme weather. For more information from ERCOT, please call 512-225-7065 or visit http://www.ercot.com.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) has issued the following information to customers:
Rotating outages will be limited in duration to between 10-45 minutes, unless equipment trips due to a power surge during the restoration process.
Customers can minimize the chance power surges will occur by turning off all but essential appliances, lights and other electrical equipment.
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