AEP Texas crews continue to arrive at staging areas in anticipation of commencement of the first steps in the restoration process in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall near Rockport around 10 p.m. on Friday. As of 9 a.m. on Saturday, approximately 200,000 customers were without power in Corpus Christi and surrounding areas. That number may prove to be the peak number of outages for the storm.
Although weather conditions have improved significantly, wind conditions must be below 30 miles per hour before bucket trucks can be used to remove hazards such as downed power lines—the first step in the restoration process. A key concern is based on the remnants of the storm and the possibility for additional rains and flooding over the next few days.
“Right now, we are trying to determine if we can safety let crews begin this first step,” said Tom Coad, AEP Texas vice president of Distribution Region Operations. At the same time, in areas where it is safe to do so, we will instruct our damage assessors to begin activities to determine the extent of the damage inflicted by Hurricane Harvey.”
Coad noted that initial reports indicate that significant damage did occur, particularly with the transmission lines and facilities. “There are preliminary reports of 54 substations out of service and at least 56 transmission lines out of service.
Shown below is a breakdown of the areas with the largest numbers of outages as of 9 a.m.
Aransas Pass 47,000Corpus Christi Southside Area 46,000Corpus Christi Midtown Area 42,000Victoria 24,000Port Lavaca 14,000Corpus Christi Northwest Area 9,000El Campo 6,000Beeville 6,000Sinton 6,000
Customers are asked to report downed power lines and other situations that could pose a safety threat. To report a fallen power line or utility pole, call 1-866-223-8508. All power lines should be considered energized and dangerous. Because of the likelihood that the storm will cause many power lines to fall, customers are asked to keep their children and pets inside during and after the storm.
Residents can track progress on the restoration effort by visiting the outage area at www.aeptexas.com. There is a real-time map featuring the most current available information. Customers also can sign up for outage alerts to receive updates via text or email.