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CPS outages in San Antonio due to wind, ice damage

CPS Energy crews repair equipment damage after three days of controlled blackouts February 18, 2021.
CPS Energy
CPS Energy crews repair equipment damage after three days of controlled blackouts February 18, 2021.

Updated Feb. 3 at 5:50 p.m.

As many as 98,000 CPS Energy customers experienced some kind of power interruption throughout the day Thursday, according to utility. CPS Energy interim CEO Rudy Garza said many of those were short or even a blink in power loss.

“For 37,000 customers who saw a sustained outage at one time, it would have been more significant. We responded to over 50 wire-down orders (Thursday) as a result of the wind and the ice," he said at a press conference.

About 5,000 customers were without power at 5 p.m. Thursday evening. Garza said the utility expects to restore all power by midnight.

Despite the loss of power across the state, Gov. Greg Abbott said Texas’ power grid is “performing very well at this time.”

During an update earlier Thursday, Abbott had similar news about the expected peak demand for electricity.

“At the expected peak demand — not just tomorrow, but this entire winter storm event — at this expected peak demand, there should be about 10,000 megawatts of extra power capacity. To put that in context, that’s about enough extra power to supply about 2 million homes," he said.

A winter storm warning is still in effect until Thursday evening across Texas, due to freezing rain, sleet and snow.

San Antonio's Office of Emergency Management is monitoring weather conditions in the area.

There are scattered power outages around the city, predominantly on the north side, where some ice has formed on overhead lines.

Most of the outages are wind-related, CPS interim CEO Rudy Garza said on Thursday morning.

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"We have got all our internal line crews, we've got contract crews, we've got close to 35 tree trimming crews available. So, every resource we have available to us is out in the field," Garza said.

San Antonio Water System President and CEO Robert Puente says there's nothing out of the ordinary happening on their end. He says all of their pumping stations are pumping water as they should.

Residents can report frozen tree limbs collapsed onto power lines at 210-353-HELP.

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Bri Kirkham can be reached at bri@tpr.org or on Twitter at @BriKirk