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Morning as Winter Storms and Freezing Temperatures Batter the Country. at Least 20 People Are Dead. Greg Abbott’s Lack of Skills in Managing Texas Weather-Related Issues Have Become a Big Problem, the TX Governor Needs to Re-Sign Gracefully Or Be Recalled Brutally…
Up to 15 million Texans remain without heat and electricity as temperatures across the state are well below freezing. Another round of winter weather is battering parts of the state Wednesday morning, as many Texans have been without electricity since Sunday are desperately scrambling to find shelters. Weather-related deaths have already been reported as one of the nation’s wealthiest states can barely supply electricity to its residents. And some of those residents have written to us to share their painful realities…
…my house is now resembling a refugee camp. yeah these are all my friends but crazy cause they all have young kids…
hence i’m escaping the chaos…
what’s insane is that big swathes of population in surrounding areas are without power and *water supply*
… bottled water flying off shelves & stores bout to run out.
… so much for Green New Deal shit… all our turbines and solar don’t work now in freeze, LOL
i live in an area behind a major hospital so i’m thinking that’s why my grid has been up and running this whole time.
The unprecedented polar vortex split, dumping Arctic air down to the Gulf of Mexico, resulted in frozen wellheads that impeded the flow of natgas to power stations, triggering electric shortages as demand overwhelmed the grid. Considering ERCOT, which manages 90% of the state’s electric load, has a high percentage of electrical generation produced via natgas, power has yet to be restored to millions of folks. Still on Wednesday, the power grid operator warned 40% of generation capacity remains offline.
The cascading effect of blackouts and controlled power outages has resulted in some critical infrastructure such as cellular networks and water treatment plants going offline.
As we attempt to show below, the speed at which one of the nation’s wealthiest states transforms into a third-world country is simply stunning.
Jared Tennant, a drone pilot in central Texas, captured stunning images of how downtown Austin has been lit up during the power grid collapse while surrounding and more impoverished communities on the outskirts of town have had their power cut.
Tennant “showed images of downtown Austin Tuesday night. Municipal buildings, empty office buildings, and even empty parking garages fully lit throughout the night,” said PJ Media.
Office buildings in downtown Austin were lit up during the blackouts.
Austin’s convention center had power while neighborhoods across I-35 were dark.
Downtown offices were lit while tens of thousands of thousands of people in the surrounding community froze.
One reader wrote that central Texas looks like a “refugee situation of sorts,” offering some anecdotal accounts of what he’s seeing on the ground which is nothing short of a disaster in the making.
- Central Texas looking like a refugee situation of sorts… suburbs with power have homes with 10 to 15 or 20 people piled into living rooms with sleeping bags.
- Increasingly whole zip codes are being hit with not just power outage, but water system going down too either thru frozen or electrically damaged processing facilities or key pipes bursting.
- Anyone without power/water (now going on 2 to 3 days) is begging any friends or family in area still with power to take them in.
- Often multiple families are camped out in living rooms of those who still have power.
- Families are dropping off young children in residences & with neighbors that still have heat.
- Basically whole neighborhoods on other side of highway with no power are “moving in” to neighbors’ homes on other side where power still exists.
- I’m getting phone calls from friends and elderly people in the community asking desperately for firewood. People are now running out of firewood and the couple grocery stores actually open for a few hours a day are constantly out.
- People are braving the iced-over roads to go looking for anyone with firewood.
- Any home that still has water is filling up jugs & bathtubs in expectation of water supply cut at any moment.
- The water situation is getting alarming.. especially many elderly now trapped in homes with no heat OR WATER.
- Local stores (the 2 or 3 that actually open) are limiting customers to 2 gallons of water each–it’s flying off the shelves
- Individuals with 4-wheel drive and/or jeeps have been seen picking up stranded strangers on side of road… often people are having to hike miles to an open corner store to raid the shelves for any canned food/or still available items.
- As vehicles get stuck and/or become inoperable due to extreme freeze… people have been seen hiking out of suburban neighborhoods to reach “civilization” (or any area still with power and water)
- People are also now living in their work offices and/or teachers bringing their family to school classroom to live if school/office still has power/water.
- In many cases schools or some churches are not yet officially “warming centers”–yet people are basically squatting–entering any public place/room they can find that’s warm.
- For most part there’s almost zero snow plow/de-icing equipment particularly in mid- to small-sized towns and rural areas… last night’s layer of ice storm means many people now trapped in their powerless/waterless homes even if they want to leave for a warming center
- There’s no recourse, no answers… Oncor will not answer calls or give answers for days running. Civic services not responding… also local police departments are angrily demanding answers from the large energy companies
- Growing number of carbon monoxide poisonings in area and the state…people are lighting charcoal grills indoors, also running vehicles in garages
Another Texas resident exclaimed:
So I honestly don’t really know if there’s anyway to mitigate this at all, or if there is any point trying to kick and scream and raise awareness about this since it seems like such an unstoppable avalanche, but with all of the pipes bursting as well as water treatment plants now going offline – next week when this shit thaws out, all of that sewage is going to coat the entire fucking state.
Which is gross, but the worst part of it is that fucking Covid can transmit through sewage, not all that well and it probably needs to be aerosolized, but with apartment buildings and the fact it will be EVERYWHERE and everything else… Texas is about to become a science experiment in herd immunity.
When those pipes start to thaw I bet they’ll be gushing and spurting too – how long is it gonna take to seal everything off, there’s just no way.
I hope I’m wrong, but I think Texas might be on its way to becoming a Third World country.
… and there’s more.
Houston Chronicle’s Brett Coomer reports dozens of people lined up to fill their propane tanks – many of whom have been without power for days.
More Texans are standing in freezing weather waiting for propane fillups.
People are running out of food. Huge lines were seen at a grocery store in Houston’s suburb on Wednesday.
Texas Grid Operator Warns Blackouts Will Continue For Another Night
Update (1503ET): The Houston Chronicle reports ERCOT declined to give an estimate when the power will be restored to millions of customers. The grid operator warned controlled blackouts would continue as 40% of generation capacity remains offline.
“We’re unable to give any real specific because of the variables we’ve identified around the resources and the weather,” ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness said.
“We’re optimistic we’ll see some today as we see some warming trend … and get it down to a level where even if we’re not finished, at least you can see the rotation of the outages, so that the people who’ve been without power for so long can get some relief,” Magness said.
Temperatures across the state are expected to rise by the weekend, bringing an end to Artic conditions that triggered one of the worst controlled blackouts in the country’s history.
As of this update, 2.995 million Texans are without power as the grid remains under stress.
However, there is some good news.
The Southwest Power Pool (SSP), which manages the electric grid and wholesale power market for the central US, including Kansas, Oklahoma, portions of New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, Wyoming, and Nebraska, said there is no need for blackouts today as “generation is currently sufficient to serve system-wide demand across the region and to fully satisfy operating reserve requirements.”
* * *
Update (1245ET): Texas grid operator ERCOT says 40% of generation capacity remains offline Wednesday morning. The operator states every fuel type for power generation has been impacted.
As of this update, PowerOutage.us reports 3.345 million customers in the Lone Star State are without power.
There’s no word from ERCOT when all generation systems will be back online.
* * *
Millions of Americans are without power Wednesday morning as winter storms and freezing temperatures batter the country. At least 20 people are dead due to weather-related incidents. As for Texas, the state with the most power outages, millions are still without power heading into the fourth day.
Bloomberg makes an interesting inquiry into the blackout’s actual size across Texas in recent days. Considering utility companies count outages by “customers” and not actual people – the real number could be north of 15 million people who have been plunged into darkness amid frigid temperatures.
Texas power grid operator ERCOT, which manages 90% of the state’s electric load, serving more than 26 million customers, was forced to cut power to millions of customers as Arctic air spilled into the state, freezing wellheads that impeded the flow of natgas to power stations, triggering electric shortages as demand overwhelmed the grid.
The high concentration of natgas generation on ERCOT’s grid makes it vulnerable to power disruptions if fuel flow is disrupted.
What’s worse is that ERCOT is a separate grid than the rest of the country. This means ERCOT had limited abilities to pull power from other grids which was the resulting factor of why blackouts occurred.
The highest amount of power outages in the Lone Star state occurred on Tuesday when PowerOutage.us recorded 4.423 million customers were without power. Bloomberg makes the point that since a customer is not factored into the number of people in a household, the number of people left in the dark could be “at least 15 million people.”
Data compiled by Bloomberg shows more than 26,000 megawatts of load have been wiped off the grid since Sunday. ERCOT warned customers over the weekend that rolling blackouts were needed to prevent a grid-wide collapse. For some context, a megawatt powers roughly 200 average homes in Texas.
The blackout’s real size remains a mystery, but it’s undoubtedly one of the largest forced ones in the country’s history. In the last several days, Texas has been transformed into a third-world country, with rolling blacks, controlled power outages, cellular networks down, water treatment facilities offline, and millions of people freezing in their homes while the state’s economy grinds to a halt.
PowerOutage.us shows 2.965 million customers are still without power in the state on Wednesday morning. With millions of Americans in other states battered by winter weather and also suffering power outages, at least 75% of the Lower 48 states are covered by Snow. This week, at least 20 people have died from the wicked weather across the country.
ERCOT wholesale electricity prices topped the grid’s price cap of $9,000 per megawatt-hour several times in the overnight session. Reminding readers, ERCOT prices are usually around $25/MWh.
The mystery remains – how many total people were thrown into darkness (and remain there) by ERCOT’s failures to weatherize its grid against a cold blast. Source: ZeroHedge
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