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Power factbox: Outages drop, but flooding slows work

Houston (Platts)--3 Sep 2017 352 pm EDT/1952 GMT


Areas affected by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath reported less than 65,000 customers were without power at 12 pm CDT Sunday, the lowest level since the storm made landfall August 25. Flooding continued to hamper power restoration efforts, however.


RESTORATION EFFORTS


* AEP Texas, the transmission and distribution utility that serves most of the Coastal Bend area where Harvey came ashore, reported about 44,000 customers without power, down from more than 65,000 as of 3 pm CDT Friday.

The worst storm to hit the AEP Texas service area in 44 years knocked down about 5,000 distribution poles and 300 transmission structures and damaged another 200 transmission poles.

As of late Sunday morning, AEP Texas had restored service to almost 174,000 of the 220,000 customers who lost power during the storm.

AEP Texas on Sunday provided estimated times of restoration for the following Texas towns:
  • Victoria, 10 pm CDT Sunday
  • Port Lavaca, 10 pm CDT Monday
  • Ingleside, 10 pm CDT Wednesday
  • All other cities, 10 pm CDT Friday


* Entergy utilities in southeast Texas, Louisiana, western Mississippi and Arkansas reported about 10,400 customers without power, of which about 9,800 were in Texas. Those numbers are down from more than 59,000 overall, more than 55,400 in Texas, as of 3 pm CDT Friday.

"We've restored more than 309,000 outages in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi caused by multiple landfalls Harvey made since its arrival nine days ago," Entergy said in a statement. "Of that total number, 259,000 were in Texas."

More than 2,300 people are working to restore power.

"Thousands of Entergy Texas customers remain without power due to transmission line outages and flooded substations," Entergy said. "As floodwaters recede and large transmission lines are repaired, estimated times of restoration will become clear."

* Centerpoint Energy, which serves most of the Houston metro area, reported about 5,800 customers without power, down from almost 22,000 as of 3 pm CDT Friday.

Centerpoint late Saturday said it had restored power to more than 878,000 customers, but at that time, about 6,600 remained without power due to extensive flooding and public safety issues.

Related content:
* Petrochemicals Factbox: Ports begin to re-open; additional FMs announced
* Oil Factbox: Gasoline prices soar on Harvey-related outages

* Natural Gas Factbox: Full market recovery seen weeks away


LOAD DIFFERENCES


* At noon CDT Sunday, ERCOT showed load in the storm-affected areas up by about 25%, compared with the same period August 27, as Hurricane Harvey suppressed power usage.

The largest difference was in the Coastal weather region -- around Houston and Galveston -- which was up 2,928 MW, or more than 30%, from the same period a week ago.

The next-largest difference was in the South Central region, which includes Austin and San Antonio and other communities close to the Mexican border, which showed an increase of 1,121 MW, or almost 18%, compared with the same period a week earlier.

The smallest increase was in the Southern region, which includes the Corpus Christi area, where ERCOT showed an increase of 813 MW, or almost 27%, compared with the same time on August 27.

In comparison with the Sunday before Labor Day 2016, ERCOT load was down about 9%.

--Mark Watson, markham.watson@spglobal.com

--Edited by Kevin Saville, kevin.saville@spglobal.com

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