The current count for Centerpoint, the company that brings electricty to most of Houston, is half a million customers restored, 1.65 million customers cursing Centerpoint.
A "customer" is a home, so each outage affects more than one person, typically.
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Alicia Dixon, Centerpoint spokeswoman, had this to offer to the suffering hordes:
Thousands of mutual assistance linemen and tree trimmers from across the country continue to arrive to enhance CenterPoint Energy’s electric restoration efforts. The company estimates that by the end of the day, 3,000 scheduled linemen and tree trimmers will have arrived and received work orders. And by Wednesday, an additional 4,000 will be on the scene helping CenterPoint Energy get power back on. These mutual assistance crews will help CenterPoint Energy make repairs identified by the company’s “cut and clear” process. “When faults are identified on a line, such as a downed tree, power line or pole, we isolate the problem where the fault is and reroute power around it. This process quickly restores power to large numbers of customers. Later, crews come back to the damaged area to make all proper repairs,” explained Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint Energy senior vice president of Electric Operations. Mutual assistance crews will play a key role to work these faults. This labor-intensive process takes several hours in which to complete each work order.
So keep on keeping on, people. And thank the weather gods for bringing the cold front. (Although the weather gods presumably also brought Ike, so we're not sure if we're still speaking to them, the assholes.)
-- Richard Connelly