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Austin faces a third day without power, 'possibly longer,' and an increasing number of burst pipes
(Austonia staff)

The Austin area is now in its third day of widespread power outages due to historic winter weather, with 36.35% of Austin Energy customers impacted. The local utility announced that customers should be prepared not to have power through Wednesday—and possibly longer. Additionally, the recent ice storm has caused more outages and could lead to more customers losing power until the weather improves.


The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages about 90% of the state's grid, tweeted that "some generation is slowly returning" early Wednesday morning. But the nonprofit corporation continues to require local providers to shed load, or maintain outages, to help maintain the grid.

Because of the recent ice storm, Austin Energy is advising customers who still have power that this may change. Those customers who have been without power since early Monday morning "should expect outages to continue until the situation improves," according to the utility.

Other electricity companies are also facing widespread blackouts, according to their outage maps. Nearly a third—17,760—of Oncor's Travis County customers are currently impacted. Nearly 4,000 Bluebonnet Electric customers in Travis County, or 14.5% were affected as of Wednesday morning. The outage map for Pedernales Electric Cooperative, which serves customers in Georgetown, Marble Falls and other cities outside of Austin, is currently unavailable.

An increasing number of Austin residents are also facing water outages due to burst pipes. At least 21 broken pipes were reported to Austin Fire by 9 a.m. on Wednesday, in addition to 74 such incidents on Tuesday.

During a press conference late Tuesday afternoon, City Manager Spencer Cronk said there were no current plans to disrupt water service or reports of broken system mains. Although other parts of Texas have issued boil-water notices due to the winter storm, Austin Water has not. "Our treatment plans are working well and we have adequate supply," the utility tweeted Tuesday evening.

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