what's up downtown?
Houstonians outraged as downtown lights up during citywide outages
Patient, hardy, and resilient, Houstonians are doing their best to weather this storm — even car skiing and making snow angels in the elements as they suffer power outages.
But even brave Bayou City residents can reach their boiling point in the freeze, especially when those conserving energy see downtown Houston lit up.
“Most of downtown is office space,” wrote a Houstonian on Twitter, “so why is it all lit up when they’re asking everyone in Houston to conserve energy to help the power grid? The surrounding homes are not only dark but cold after hours without power in sub freezing temps. This is not a good look for Houston.”
Indeed, while tens of thousands were suffering icy temps with no heat and in some cases, no hot water, downtown gleamed on February 15.
CultureMap news partner ABC13 captured an image of downtown in all its lit glory. ABC13 also reached out to Mayor Sylvester Turner for comment. The mayor’s office responded with this statement:
Throughout the day, Mayor Turner has asked people to conserve energy because of the power outages. He had mentioned it in tweets, zoom interviews and during his news conference. He has been in contact with CenterPoint Energy and others urging them to restore power to Houstonians as soon as possible. CenterPoint has assured the mayor that it is asking its major providers to conserve energy. The mayor encourages everyone to do their share to help during the extreme winter weather.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo also weighed in, telling ABC13 the situation was “maddening” but added that less lights should shine downtown on the evening of February 16 as companies adjust to the new normal.
Currently, myriad neighborhoods and citizens are without power, while another round of snow, ice, and rain is anticipated for Wednesday, February 17.