Power back for most, but not all, CPS customers

‘At this point, it’s almost ridiculous,’ residents say as they wait for equipment issues to be fixed

It’s been a tough go for residents in one Kirby neighborhood who haven’t had electricity for days.

KIRBY, TexasEDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated residents in the Kirby area hadn’t had power since Thursday. It has been changed to reflect the correct day, Tuesday.

As snow came down again Thursday morning, most - but not all- CPS customers had their power restored.

With the forced outage strategy CPS had been following to keep the Texas grid stable suspended, close to 99% of customers had power again.

CPS Energy CEO Paula Gold-Williams told reporters the remaining outages were from equipment failures - at least some of which were caused by the outage management process.

“That process of pushing power on and off can sometimes cause fuses to blow,” Gold-Williams said. “And what can actually happen is there could be other damages that happen directly - equipment associated with providing that power close to the customer.”

Those issues would need to be fixed by CPS crews before power could be restored, she said.

As of noon on Thursday, there were 9,335 out of 865,827 customers affected by outages.

Some of those remaining outages included neighborhoods that had been without power for more than two days.

In an area near Binz-Engleman and Ackerman Roads in Kirby, a CPS outage map showed nearly 1,300 customers without power since Tuesday night - though several residents told KSAT they hadn’t had power since Tuesday morning.

“At this point, it’s almost ridiculous because it’s been so long and ours hasn’t gone on and off. It’s just dead,” Trinidad Gutierrez, who lives on Happiness Lane, told KSAT early Thursday afternoon..

His neighbor down the street, Doug Cordes kept his food laid out on his front wall, noting that “everything in the house is freezing except what’s in the refrigerator, what’s in the freezer.”

Still, Cordes and others remained hopeful their power would be back soon.

CPS trucks could be seen roaming the neighborhood as crews worked on the lines.

Around the corner, on Diadem Drive, Stacey Wiatrek and her mother enthusiastically greeted the sight.

“We were yelling and screaming and saying, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’ We offered to go get them some coffee. My best friend’s husband works for CPS, and he’s been working nonstop as one of the linemen. And so, I know what they’re all going through too with their families,”

While some houses in the neighborhood were showing lights by KSAT’s 5pm airtime, others remained dark.

A CPS spokeswoman said they did not have an estimated time when all houses would be back on line. As of 5:30pm, there were still 6,050 customers affected.

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Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.