The freeze we've been expecting for weeks has finally hit Central Texas, and there are already power outages being reported across the state.

According to KXAN, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) says there are plenty of resources on reserve, and they don't expect to ask anyone to conserve power this week.

However, that doesn't mean we can't still have local power outages due to ice on trees and power lines, along with gusty winds.

Keeping Things in Check

Currently, the city of Killeen is reporting there are no major issues at this time.

According to ERCOT interim CEO Brad Jones, Texas has 15,000 megawatts of power on reserve to use as needed, based on system-wide demand.

That's enough to power around 11 million homes.

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Power Grid Status

This dashboard allows you to look at operating reserves.

The grid conditions meter shows the current conditions and the amount of operating reserves. The meter shows if the grid is under strain, as well as when users need to conserve power.

Here's a breakdown of ERCOT's Energy Emergency Alert system:

  • Green: Normal conditions
  • Yellow: Energy conservation requested, users asked to limit appliance use and adjust thermostats.
  • Orange (Emergency Level 1): Emergency operations have begun. Conservation needed. Reduced energy reserves.
  • Red (Emergency Level 2): Conservation is critical. Continued low reserves. Those with urgent medical needs should register with their local utility, and have a backup plan in place.
  • Black (Emergency Level 3): The highest level of emergency operations. Controlled outages in progress. Health and safety should be made a priority by using city or county instruction.

Safety Tips

Aside from power issues, there are also other problems that come with the colder weather in Central Texas - the drivers!

It's best to stay home if at all possible. Of course, that's not always an option.

If you must get on the road, you can check conditions in advance at drivetexas.org, a website that gives the real-time status of highways all over Texas.

This site lets you plan ahead by letting you know if there are accidents, construction, closures, or damage on your route.

You can also call 1-800-452-9292 for Texas highway conditions as well.

 

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Celebrating Valentine's Day can be as simple as a nice card, flowers and a box of chocolates but if the expectation is for something bigger, and more creative, this list might help.

Although there is nothing wrong with dinner and a movie, let's take that idea a little further. Keep in mind, some pre-planning may be in order here but literally the sky is the limit.

There are so many ways to say "I Love You" to that special someone and for the sake of the "Outside the Box' definition, let's go with anything other than dinner and a movie.

 

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