Centerpoint: "We're ready to respond"
by: Ed Mayberry, February 3, 2011 3:02:00 pm
Linemen are preparing to respond to potential power disruptions from downed power lines, which become extremely heavy when coated with ice, according to Centerpoint's Alicia Dixon.
"That causes the lines to become heavy, causing the lines to sag and fall and the poles to break, and also tree limbs become coated with ice. Those fall into our wires and in our poles, causing outages. So all of our crews are here in the Houston area. We're ready to respond."
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas and Centerpoint are monitoring both supply and demand for electricity. Dixon says with most schools and many businesses closed for the expected extreme weather, the load on the system could be lighter.
"That actually does help, when the schools are closed. That's a lot of load, if you're looking at all the school districts, and if you're looking at a statewide level, that is a lot of the load. A lot of the businesses that might be closed -- that is going to help the situation."
Centerpoint continues to encourage conservation, particularly during peak demand hours early in the morning and early evening.
"Every little bit helps. Some people might think 'what can I do? Turning off the light or lowering the thermostat one degree, what could that do?' But if everyone in the state of Texas did something just as simple as that, it really does make a difference."
Dixon reminds customers to stay away from any downed lines, as well as trees or tree limbs or any structure that the lines might be touching. You can report downed lines at 311.