As thousands of Houstonians wake up to to no power, CenterPoint Energy's online outage tracker has crashed.
"We’re sorry, but Outage Tracker is temporarily unavailable. We hope to have service restored soon. Thank you for your patience," reads the site. Early CenterPoint Energy estimates reported some 98,000 customers without power around the Houston area as of 6 am Monday, February 15.
Locals should be prepared to be without power for the rest of the day, according to a CenterPoint tweet. CultureMap was unable to reach CenterPoint for comment.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also tweeted: "These are not rolling blackouts. We are dealing with systemwide power outages across the state." Locals across the city, especially in Inner Loop neighborhoods such as Montrose, The Heights, and Greenway Plaza, report no power.
Elsewhere in Texas, some 2.3 million customers were without power on the morning of February 15, according to poweroutage.us.
Texas power grid managers have declared an emergency after record-breaking energy use strained utilities beyond capacity thanks to the winter weather event.
As CultureMap news partner ABC13 reports, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) declared an "energy emergency alert three" also called an EEA 3 early Monday, as the third of three alert phases. In the first phase, the state looks to get electricity from other grids. The second stage shuts down large industrial users who've agreed to cut power in an emergency. The third phase is rotating outages.
ERCOT has issued an EEA level 3 because electric demand is very high and supplies can't keep up. Reserves have dropped below 1,000 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes.
Rolling blackouts could repeat, all the way through the morning of Tuesday, February 16, according to ERCOT.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday warned that all of Texas faces an unprecedented winter storm and issued a state disaster declaration, ABC13 notes. President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state of Texas and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts.
This is a breaking news story; CultureMap will update as news develops.