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Township Updates on Electricity Outages in The Woodlands

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UPDATE 8/28 7:45 am: “Last night the steps Entergy is taking to eliminate the need for periodic power outages was laid out. The first step was to successfully energize the Hartburg 500kv transmission line. That line was energized at around 10:30 p.m. We’ve begun to restore the load. We will continue to work with MISO to ensure the system remains stable, and we hope to report a successful ramping of the Sabine unit tomorrow.” – Township Chairman Gordy Bunch

8/28 7:30 a.m. Entergy Map of Power Outages; 5,001+ Customers Out in The Woodlands

View Entergy Power Outage Map at https://www.etrviewoutage.com/map?state=tx

10PM Entergy Power Outage Update:

Power began coming back on line throughout the evening and there are areas that are still waiting to get power back.

1. Areas that have been without power the longest are first in line. More areas will be coming online throughout the evening a loads drop with the temperature.

2. Shortly after Hurricane Laura hit SETX/SWLA Entergy had 7 of their 8 transmission lines go down.

3. Entergy was required to manage loads with only one line functioning. That required dropping 500 MegaWatts immediately.

4. One of the seven downed lines is currently being tested. If this line is functional it can help spread the load and potentially eliminate future rolling blackouts. We should know by early Morning the status of this transmission line.

5. There is a power generation plant in Orange County that was evacuated ahead of Hurricane Laura. It is being assessed and prepped to comeback on-line early tomorrow. It takes time for it to ramp up but could have additional power available mid-day to afternoon that will also help alleviate potential rolling blackouts.

6. Entergy sought and was granted DOE approval for ERCOT power transfers. This is the adjacent grid to our area that can provide energy that would additionally offset load balancing requirements. This step is the third option behind the 2nd transmission line and Orange County Power Plant. It’s 3rd because it would require up to 8 hours to establish the transfers. Entergy is optimistic that the first two options will suffice but wanted to make sure everyone knew they had a tertiary option ready to go if needed.

7. If there is a need for further rolling blackout they will have time to provide advance notices and will share those with their customers and local government.

Source: Township Chairman Gordy Bunch

Entergy 8/27 Evening Update on Rolling Outages:

We continue to follow a request by MISO, our reliability coordinator, to implement periodic power outages to help ensure power is able to reach our customers. However, we have taken steps to reduce the duration of these outages to lessen the impact to customers. Given the current system conditions, there may be a need to curtail additional customers, and customers could experience additional outages until additional transmission lines are energized. 

The damage from Hurricane Laura caused significant damage to the transmission system in both Texas and Louisiana that moves power around the region. The transmission system acts as the backbone of the electric grid and outages from Laura have resulted in difficulties to move power around the system.

In parallel effort, we continue to work to return high voltage transmission lines and power generation to service, which will help stabilize the transmission system following the Hurricane Laura’s damage.  We have some repairs that we hope to make tonight that will help improve the integrity of the transmission system, and eliminate the need for future power curtailment.  Additionally, we have nearly 6,000 people in Texas working to restore customers following Hurricane Laura’s destruction. 

Read the update at https://www.entergynewsroom.com/news/entergy-forced-begin-periodic-power-outages-customers-in-texas/

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THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (August 27, 2020) – Most all residences and businesses in the Montgomery County portion of The Woodlands were without electricity as part of rolling power outages today throughout Southeast Texas.

According to Entergy, the electricity provider for the Town Center and villages of Alden Bridge, Cochran’s Crossing, College Park, Grogan’s Mill, Indian Springs, and Panther Creek, the company said it is taking the action to avoid a more extensive, prolonged power outage that could severely affect the reliability of the power grid. The Village of Creekside Park, which is served by Centerpoint Energy, was not affected.

Entergy is not currently able to provide a time frame when they expect to restore power to 100 percent capacity. “The Woodlands Township is in contact with Entergy and has requested advance notice or a schedule for potential rolling blackouts,” said Township Chairman Gordy Bunch. “We will communicate if those can be produced.”

Street lights may lose power. Be careful, remember intersections without functioning lights are treated as a four-way stop. Law Enforcement and generators are being deployed to assist with intersection management.

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The Woodlands Fire Department responded to several auto accidents as well as elevator rescues today in the Town Center.

“Please let our Firefighters, Sheriff Deputies and EMTs know you appreciate them when you see them,” Chairman Bunch said.

Regarding the electricity, Entergy said in a news release that the issue is a combination of the extensive damage to Entergy’s transmission system caused by Hurricane Laura and the anticipated high demand for electricity due to high temperatures. Most of the outages began to occur during the noon hour and restoration began mid afternoon. A map at 6 p.m. still showed large portions of outage.

Entergy said it was directed to launch the power outages by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator as a last resort to prevent a more extensive and prolonged power outage that could damage the reliability of the power grid that stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The unusual circumstances reflect the extensive damage to Entergy’s transmission system caused by Hurricane Laura along the Texas and Louisiana border and expected high demand for electricity.

Entergy is also asking customers in the western service area north of Houston to voluntarily reduce their electricity use. Follow these tips below:

  • Raising their air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees and check the filter to be sure it is clean.
  • Closing window blinds, drapes and curtains to reduce warming in the home from direct sunlight.
  • Wash clothes with cold water or delay laundry and bathing until later in the evening or early morning to reduce humidity which makes air conditioners work harder.
  • Cook foods at the lowest possible setting and resist the temptation to open the oven door while baking.
  • Do not allow cooled air to escape from the home. Check caulking around doors and windows. Close the fireplace damper. Fill holes and gaps where wiring and pipes enter the house.
  • Make sure your clothes dryer and attic are vented properly.

For the latest updates regarding the power outage, please visit the Entergy website at www.entergy-texas.com

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