Houston, Texas – Widespread power outages are occurring across the Houston area as a result of Hurricane Nicholas and many people do not yet have a clear idea of when power will return.
CenterPoint Energy, which provides utilities to over 2.5 million people in the Houston area, is continuing to assess the extent of the outages as it becomes safe for crews to do so. The company was reporting 337,382 customers without power as of 11:58AM on Tuesday, down from a peak of approximately 450,000. The total for all utility providers in the area was over 404,000 customers without power as of noon.
CenterPoint Energy has said that some people could be without electricity for up to seven days and that though the company hopes to have power back much sooner, for some it will certainly be “a multi-day event.” Estimates are expected to become more accurate as damage assessments continue.
Nicholas was still a category 1 hurricane when it made landfall near Sargent in the early morning hours of Tuesday, though the National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a tropical storm in a 4:00AM update. Areas to the east of Houston and parts of Louisiana are still under threat of flash floods as the storm progresses along the coast.
CenterPoint Energy has asked that people do not call when their power is out as the company’s smart meters allow them to see when and where it happens. However, the company asks that people report downed power lines at 713-207-2222 and to stay at least 10 feet away from broken power lines. It is also recommended that those who depend on electricity for life-sustaining equipment should make other arrangements to have consistent electricity until the public utilities are fixed.