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Power Factbox: Harvey outages spread across Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky

Houston (Platts)--1 Sep 2017 352 pm EDT/1952 GMT


As what is now Post-Tropical Cyclone Harvey moved northeast across Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky overnight, it cut off power to tens of thousands of customers, while utilities in Texas and Louisiana made substantial progress in restoring service, despite continued flooding.

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As of about 10 am CDT Friday, utilities in areas affected by Harvey and its aftermath reported about 193,000 customers without power -- about 167,000 in Texas, about 18,500 in Tennessee, about 4,500 in Mississippi, about 600 in Kentucky and about 300 in Arkansas.

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The US National Hurricane Center said the storm was about 30 miles northwest of Nashville around 10 am CDT Friday, moving northeast with maximum sustained winds of 25 mph.

Harvey is expected to produce an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain from western Kentucky into southeastern Indiana, southern Ohio and western West Virginia. Locally, higher totals of 4 to 6 inches are possible around northern Kentucky. These rains will enhance the flash flooding risk across these areas, the NHC said.

"Meanwhile, widespread severe flooding will continue in and around Houston, Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange, [Texas,] and eastward around the Louisiana border through the weekend," it added.


RESTORATION EFFORTS


AEP Texas' South Texas and Coastal Bend service territory continued to have the largest number of customers without power -- about 69,000 -- as crews work to repair or replace more than 3,100 distribution poles.

In a Friday morning update, AEP Texas said crews are repairing or replacing 300 transmission structures knocked down and 200 transmission structures damaged by the storm.

As of 8:30 am CDT Friday, AEP Texas had restored service to 150,800 customers over the course of the storm, and the company estimated it will have restored power to all Corpus Christi, Texas, customers by 10 pm CDT Saturday if not sooner.

AEP Texas reported the following estimated times of restoration for various Texas communities: Port Lavaca - 10 pm CDT Friday; El Campo, Portland and Victoria - 10 pm CDT Saturday; Port Aransas - 10 pm CDT Monday; Ingleside - 10 pm CDT Wednesday; all other cities - 10 pm CDT September 8.

Across Entergy's service areas in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, almost 66,000 customers were without power around 10 am CDT Friday, with the bulk of those in Texas and Mississippi.

Over the course of the storm, Entergy has restored power to more than 200,000 customers, the company said Friday.

"The most significant outages remain in southeast Texas, where sustained flooding has made many areas inaccessible and is preventing us from quickly and safely restoring power in a time frame customers may have come to expect from their experience in previous storms," Entergy said, adding that flooding "is expected to continue for several days."

The utility with the next largest total was Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division in southwestern Tennessee, with about 14,500 customers without power around 10 am CDT Friday.

"More than 40,000 customers were affected by the storm system," MLGW said Friday, adding that it expects full restoration by midnight Sunday.


OUTAGES AND LOAD DIFFERENCES


As of about 10 am Friday, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi utilities' outage maps showed the following numbers:
  • AEP Texas (Corpus Christi, Texas area) - 69,455
  • Entergy Texas (East Texas) - 56,439
  • Centerpoint Energy (Houston-Galveston) - 25,126
  • Memphis Light, Gas & Water (Memphis, Tennessee) - 14,501
  • Sam Houston Electric Co-op (East Texas) - 9,111
  • South Texas Electric Cooperative (rural Gulf Coast) - 5,257
  • Entergy Mississippi - 4,395
  • Cumberland Electric Membership Corp. (northern Tennessee) - 2,675
  • Texas-New Mexico Power (suburban Houston) - 1,707
  • Kentucky Power - 1,033

Entergy Louisiana, Nashville (Tennessee) Electric Service, Louisville Gas & Electric, Kentucky Utilities, Old Dominion Power, Entergy Arkansas, Jackson (Tennessee) Energy Authority, Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corp., Fort Loudon (Tennessee) Electric Co-op, Knoxville (Tennessee) Utilities Board, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp., Johnson City (Tennessee) Power Board, Cleco (central and eastern Louisiana) and Mississippi Power (eastern Tennessee) each reported fewer than 1,000 customers without power as of about 10 am Friday, but their customer outages total about 3,200.

At about 10 am Friday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas showed load in the storm-affected areas down by about 7%, compared with the same period August 25, before the arrival of Harvey.

The largest difference was in the Coastal weather region -- around Houston and Galveston -- which was down 1,467 MW, or just below 12%, from the same period a week ago.

The next-largest difference was in the South Central region -- including Austin and San Antonio -- where demand was down 539 MW, or about 7%, compared with the same period a week earlier.

In contrast, the Southern region, which includes Corpus Christi, Texas, and other communities close to the Mexican border, showed an increase of 360 MW, or about 11%, compared with the same time on August 25.

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

--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, keiron.greenhalgh@spglobal.com



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