Some power outages could last into Monday due to ‘extensive’ storm damage in Austin

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some Austinites may be without power all weekend due to damage caused by vicious storms that rolled through Central Texas on Friday evening.

Austin Energy has restored power for most people who suffered outages after the storm, but about 1,800 homes are still without power as of 1 p.m. Sunday.

The company said damage caused by the storm is “extensive,” adding some outages may continue into Monday.

“All of the food in the fridge is ruined, and pretty soon the freezer food will be too,” said Don Stafford, who lives in south Austin.

Austin Energy said its crews were working to restore power for people who have not had it the longest.

“If you’re part of a smaller outage, it’s possible you may be without power through tomorrow,” the company tweeted on Saturday afternoon.

The area off of Buffalo Pass in south Austin is where Stafford spent most of his Saturday outside on his lawn chair. He sat waiting for Austin Energy repair crews to come by.

“It just seems like every time we have a storm nowadays the electricity goes out,” said Stafford.

Austin Energy crews in South Austin Saturday (KXAN/Kaitlyn Karmout)

More than 300 homeowners on his grid south of Menchaca went without power. It went out Friday, right as the storm came through and wasn’t restored until 6 p.m. the next day.

Waiting in the dark is a familiar feeling for these residents. Millions experienced long-lasting power outages just four months ago when Texas froze over.

“We went almost three days without power in February,” said Stafford.

  • Damage at the Red Rock General Store in Bastrop County (KXAN Photo/Tim Holcomb)
  • Damage at the Red Rock General Store in Bastrop County (KXAN Photo/Tim Holcomb)
  • Tree down in Georgetown (Courtesy: Susan Bohuslav)
  • Tree limb down in Pflugerville (Courtesy Ray Ruis)
  • Tree down at Surrey Hill Drive in Austin (Courtesy Debbie Martin)
  • Tree broken off at the Mayfield Ranch subdivision in the Round Rock area (Courtesy Pam DenOtter)
  • Fence blown over in Round Rock (Courtesy: Ryan Price)

Many of the homes were built decades ago when power lines weren’t built underground, but they say it’s a whole new level of frustration to have three prolonged outages in the last four months.

“It was just a widespread event that affected pretty much all of the city,” said Kim Doyal, community engagement consultant with Austin Energy.

On Saturday, Austin Energy focused on the major circuits with more than 100 customers and those without power the longest. Crews are still trying to assess damage in the smaller grids.

“Some of the folks in the smaller outages — you know like, less than 10 homes — we may not be able to get to some of those folks until later this evening. Some may have to be out actually overnight,” said Doyal.

KXAN asked Austin Energy if there were enough workers to tackle damages across the city. Austin Energy said they brought in all of their service members and outside contractors.

Bastrop County, which was placed under a Tornado Warning Friday and saw some of the worst damage, was also affected by ongoing outages through Saturday, Bluebonnet Electric reported.

Oncor Energy customers in Williamson and Travis Counties were also dealing with outages Saturday.

Many KXAN viewers reported trees and branches down as a result of the high winds.

In Bastrop County, the roof was ripped off the Red Rock General Store, but no one was hurt.

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