AUTHOR Krysti Shallenberger@klshall
PUBLISHED Aug. 28, 2017
Category 4 Hurricane Harvey slammed the Texas Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi to Houston, and at its peak, knocked out power for 300,000 customers on Saturday, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
ERCOT noted the number of customers without power decreased slightly as the storm wore on, but reports widespread transmission outages, particularly near the Corpus Christi and Victoria areas.
The grid operator issued an emergency status late Friday night as Harvey made landfall, and noted more than 70,000 customers were without power already. Lineworkers are working 16-hour shifts to turn on power.
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Hurricane Harvey made landfall late Friday night, knocking the lights out for hundreds of thousands as it moved up the state. State officials and the grid operator issued warnings days in advance. Researchers from the University of Michigan forecasted as many as 350,000 customers could lose power — landing right in the ballpark of actual numbers.
ERCOT reported roughly 300,000 customers lost power in the peak of the storm. The most recent storm coming close to that was Winter Storm Stella, which left about 200,000 customers on the Eastern Seaboard in the dark in March.
A 2015 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists said the central Gulf Coast was especially vulnerable to severe storms. Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath illustrated that, but the report noted the region was still slow to adapt to the risks to climate change — which include increasingly severe storms.
Nearly 68,000 MW of capacity was at risk or lay directly in Hurricane Harvey’s path, SNL Energy reported. NRG Energy owned the most at-risk capacity, followed by Calpine Corp. and Houston-based CenterPoint Energy.