Without a doubt there is a strain on the Texas power grid during this unprecedented winter storm.

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We knew that this powerful winter storm was coming for days. The forecast called for freezing rain, sleet, snow and unprecedented low temperatures. East Texas got its more than fare share of it all. We have six to eight inches of powder white snow, the kind we rarely see and is seen more in Colorado and the northeast than in Texas, on the ground and icy roadways that is inhibiting travel and causing nightmares on East Texas roadways.

The worst thing about it all is the frigid cold temperatures that are left behind thanks to the arctic blast that moved in Saturday evening. Most of East Texas has not been above freezing since Friday afternoon and will not be until this Friday or Saturday. With this much cold weather in place, East Texans are cranking up the heat, using up more energy than a summer heat wave and causing a huge strain on the Texas power grid.

With so much power being consumed, there's not enough to go around. As a way to conserve energy ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, began asking Texas power companies to start controlled outages as a way to conserve energy. These controlled outages were scheduled to last anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes and would continue as long as there is a strain on the power grid. As of late, the outages have been extended to longer than the 45 minute time frame.

Now here's where my opinion comes in, I don't feel like these rolling power outages are rolling at all. Granted I may not be able to see the whole picture, but I don't see these 'rolling blackouts' as rolling at all and here's why I feel this way:

  • my first experience with the power outage was Sunday morning at 1:45 a.m. and that lasted about 20 minutes
  • my second experience with power outage was Monday morning around 6:15 a.m. and that lasted about an hour and half
  • my third experience with power outage was Monday morning around 10:30 a.m. and that lasted at least through 6:30 p.m.

Since leaving my house at 6:30 p.m., I have had no power at my house. After contacting my mom and my wife's parents, they hadn't been affected by the 'rolling blackouts' at all. They had power throughout the entire day. We made a decision to leave our house and move to the in-laws, but I couldn't make it out of my driveway because of the incline, so they came to rescue us. Tyler roads were awful and treacherous - especially Old Jacksonville Hwy. We did make it to their house safely where we were able to warm up and have electricity.

Lucky Larry, Mix 93-1
Lucky Larry, Mix 93-1

We expected the power to go out at some point because of the 'rolling blackouts', but as of the time of me writing this article at 1:10 p.m. Tuesday, we have not lost power at their house. And checking on my mom, thankfully, she hasn't lost power either.

BUT, checking on my neighbor and two other people who work at the station that live in my vicinity who didn't have a place to go, they had power return for about 20 minutes after midnight before losing it again. They've only had power for another 30 minutes since losing it Monday at 10:30 a.m.

I do not know and see the whole picture, but from my viewpoint, I do not see these as 'rolling blackouts' at all. It's just cutting power to areas and not restoring it. I'm sure there's a plausible explanation, but I have yet to see one. I will though say thank you to all the power company workers who are keeping the rest of East Texans warm. For those affected by prolonged power outages, do you best to wrap up an stay warm during this unprecedented time.

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