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45,000 still without power as Austin Energy works to restore it
(Austin Energy)

A screenshot of the Austin Energy outage map, last updated at 1:29 p.m., show large red swaths, where crews are working to restore power by the end of the day.

Fewer than 10% of Austin Energy customers are without power, as of 1:08 p.m. Thursday. This is a significant improvement from Wednesday evening, when about 27% of customers were experiencing outages, and from earlier in the week, when more than 40% were impacted. However, 45,712 customers are still affected, and a citywide boil water notice has exacerbated the situation.


District 4 Council Member Greg Casar tweeted around 1 p.m. that Austin Energy crews are working to restore power to the red areas on its outage map today. "Everything is dynamic and subject to change, especially if the state orders any more power off during this process or if there is really major storm damage to the area," he wrote.

Officials at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which maintains about 90% of the state's power grid, said they are no longer mandating controlled power outages and are instructing utility companies to restore power during a press conference this morning. This process will take some time, however.

Austin experienced "some of the most extreme versions of the weather in the state," Casar added, which is why the region has struggled to restore power compared to other parts of the state.

Austin Energy is in the process of restoring power to its customers, prioritizing those who have been without the longest, Chief of Staff Stuart Reilly said during a Facebook live hosted by Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison Thursday morning. To avoid overloading the system, the utility is restoring power in sections and asking customers without power to turn off everything except one line and those with power to take conservation measures.

The power crisis resulted in a water crisis in Austin, along with many other regions across the state. Austin Water issued a boil water notice Wednesday evening due to a power outage at its largest water treatment plant and dropping pressure across the system caused by a surge in demand. Dripping faucets and burst pipes contributed to water use 250% greater than usual on Wednesday.

Although power has since been restored at the treatment plant, the utility is still facing a water shortage and the boil water notice remains in effect.

"I think it is important for people to understand that the boil water notice is a precautionary action," District 10 Alison Alter wrote in an email update sent early Thursday afternoon. "Austin Water has not detected contaminants in the water they are providing." Due to the time required to test water for contaminants, residents should expect "a lag time" before the notice ends, she continued.

Austin Water officials do not yet have a timeline for when the notice will be lifted or the pressure issues will be resolved, Chief of Support Services Anna Bryan-Borja said during the Facebook live.

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