February 12, 2021—The Hill Country is under a winter storm warning with icy conditions, anticipated snow and some of the coldest temperatures the Kerrville area has seen in over two decades. The Kerrville Public Utility Board (KPUB) began preparations for extreme weather events early in the week and is well-prepared to respond and resolve any weather-related outages.
On Thursday, the utility responded to ten separate outages beginning at 2:43 p.m. that were all weather-related, resulting in 1401 customers losing power throughout the day. The outages were primarily in the Hunt service area.
On Friday, the largest outage of the day began at 7:27 a.m. that affected 663 customers due to a downed power line from icy weather conditions on Sidney Baker Highway near the Kerrville Police Station. The power line fed into Jack-in-the-Box, which had to be isolated for repairs to be made. Power was restored to all remaining 662 customers in just 45 minutes by 8:12 a.m., and Jack-in-the-Box had power fully restored later in the day.
KPUB reports that nine smaller additional outages happened throughout the day, resulting in 97 additional customers losing power due to trees or ice conditions. As of 7:20 p.m. on Friday, none of KPUB’s customers were experiencing power outages within its service area.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers—representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. ERCOT predicts record electric use through Tuesday, February 16, and has issued an advisory watch for extreme cold weather. To help conserve energy in these harsh winter conditions, KPUB recommends that customers utilize the following energy-saving tips:
- Set your thermostat as low as you can comfortably do so (ideally at 68 degrees or under).
- Avoid using major appliances if possible (save the dishes and laundry for other times).
- Avoid cooking on the stove or oven (opt for the microwave instead!)
- Bundle up and utilize clothing and blankets for additional warmth.
- Turn off unused lights and unplug any unused small appliances and electronic devices.
KPUB also recommends that customers keep their cellphone devices fully charged during extreme weather events and be prepared with safety kits that include spare flashlights, batteries, candles and a battery-powered cellphone charging device. Additional tips can be found on KPUB’s website at https://www.kpub.com/cold-weather-safety-tips/.
If a KPUB customer is experiencing an outage, they can report the outage 24/7 by:
- Contacting our outage line at 830.257.2883.
- Through SmartHub via the utility’s app or online account management.
- NEW! Or through text if they are a SmartHub user with a single account and up-to-date contact information by texting the word OUT to our SMS phone #768482.
KPUB’s outage map and additional outage tips and information can be found online at https://www.kpub.com/support/outages/.