Rolling Blackouts: City, HISD Try to Cope

ERCOT can't handle Mr. Freeze
ERCOT can't handle Mr. Freeze

ERCOT, the electricity cooperative that distributes power across Texas, has ordered rolling blackouts this morning because all you damn people insist on staying warm.

You probably know this if, like Hair Balls, you awoke to no power this morning.

About 330,000 customers go out at a time for up to 45 minutes in Houston, CenterPoint says.

"Although we realize this is an inconvenience for our customers, these controlled rolling outages are planned emergency measures designed to avoid potentially longer, and more widespread power outages," said company V-P Scott Prochazka. "We will continue these rolling outages until we receive direction from ERCOT that the electric supply in Texas has stabilized."

CenterPoint says it plans ahead to determine which parts of the grid to shut down. "The company's goal is to avoid turning off circuits to facilities vital to safety, health and welfare, such as hospitals, water treatment plants and public service facilities," it says.

That doesn't include schools. HISD has had to make some adjustments, only partly because of the blackouts, but the district is up and running. Pin Oak Middle School seems to have lost power, HISD spokesman Norm Uhl says, so students are being moved across the street to the HCC/ Challenge Early College campus. Update: Power back on and students are staying. Likewise, Kashmere students are being bused to Key Middle School.

Another HISD update: Buses are being sent to Houston Gardens Elementary to transport the children to Kashmere Gardens Elementary. Students from Cook Elementary School are being bused to McDade Elementary. Updated again: This has been canceled because power has been returned to the two schools.


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