CenterPoint: 1 million customers to have power by Wednesday, unclear when other million will have theirs restored

HOUSTONHurricane Beryl has left, but nearly 2 million Houston-area residents are still without power.

On Monday, CenterPoint Energy told KPRC 2 digital producer Christian Terry it expects to restore power to 1 million customers “by the end of the day on Wednesday.”

SEE ALSO: When will power be restored in your area? CenterPoint Energy’s restoration map aims to provide clearer outlook

As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, CenterPoint said it restored power to more than 850,000 customers, representing over one-third of customers impacted by Hurricane Beryl.

“We have made solid progress and exceeded the number of customer restorations following Hurricane Ike, but we have a lot of important work ahead, especially in the hardest-hit areas where the work will be more complex and time-consuming,” said Lynnae Wilson, Senior Vice President, Electric Business. “We know we have a lot of customers counting us to do our jobs as safely and quickly as possible, and that will continue to be our highest priority.”

To track the status of your power restoration, click here.

PREVIOUS: 1 million customers should have power restored by end of day Wednesday: CenterPoint Energy

During a follow-up interview Tuesday morning, live on KPRC 2+ with CenterPoint’s Director of Communications, Alyssia Oshodi, KPRC 2 reporter Haley Hernandez asked “What about the other half?”

In short, Oshodi says it’s hard to say but after completing their damage assessment by Wednesday, CenterPoint will be able to have a better idea. Residents in the hardest-hit areas may be without power for longer.

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Here’s a full transcript of their interview:

Haley Hernandez: You have the most important information that everybody in the southeast region wants to know is, when are we going to have our power restored?

Alyssia Oshodi: Sure. So we have crews out working very hard to restore power to our customers in the greater Houston area. Really, in our first full day of restoration efforts following Hurricane Beryl. And so, we’ve got crews, we will have nearly 12,000 people that will be working our system to restore power. Right now, we’re really in that damage assessment period. So that’s going to continue for likely another 24 hours. But in the meantime, we’re making some steady progress on restoration.

H.H. What is the difference between damage assessment and restoring the power?

A.O. Sure. Let me break that down a little bit. So we’ve seen significant damage to the system. So what we need to do is get out there. We’ve got some cut and clear efforts happening right now. So removing debris off of our, our facilities, off of lines, off of our equipment, we have then inspectors that are coming in and really giving a visual representation of the damage there so that we can appropriately bring the right crews and equipment out to then make the repairs. So there’s a lot of damage assessment that needs to be completed. We’ve been doing that since yesterday, once the storm cleared, and going to continue those efforts into tomorrow. But like I said, you know, restoration is happening. It’ll continue to ramp up as we can complete that damage assessment.

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H.H. Okay, good. And I know that.

H.H. You know, we talked to the City of Houston earlier, and they were saying that. Yeah, there are crews also coming from across the state and across the nation, which it seems like what we need right now. Right? I mean, we’re seeing video of linemen heading out. And I know that you said we’ve got close to 12,000 crews, but, it feels like it can’t come fast enough when we see the heat index of 105.

A.O. Absolutely. And we want to say thank you to all those mutual assistance crews that are coming from other utilities to assist us in those efforts. They’re going to continue to enter the area today and tomorrow, and then we’ll be fully ramped up on our system and working. We understand it. It’s hot and it’s an inconvenience to not have power. So we are working as quickly as we can to get our folks back on.

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H.H. Yeah, it’s an inconvenience, but it’s a safety hazard. You know, there are people who can’t survive in this type of heat. So we really we really hope that it can be restored quickly. And I know you said about half of the people who are without power right now will have it restored by, you know, tomorrow evening. But what does that mean for the other half?

A.O. Correct. So by the end of day [Wednesday], based on the assessment we’ve completed up to this point in restoration progress, we’ll have 1 million customers that have been impacted back on. But as you said, that still leaves virtually half of the customers, another 1 million customers. We’ll continue to work and we’ll have some more detailed information again as we can complete the damage assessment portion to establish some timelines for folks. But we do know that some of our hardest-hit areas, we should expect that folks will be without power for several days.

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H.H. So some of the hardest hit areas when you look at the outage map, you know, it looks like central Houston really inside the loop was pretty hard hit. Does that mean that that’s who we’re talking to, that you guys might be without power for several days.

A.O. So we’ll have some more specific information and break that down by area. So more to come there. We really need to get through damage assessment because we have concentrated pockets of customers out. But that also means that we might be able to restore larger pockets. That’s our priority bringing on as many customers at a time that we can. So we’re striving to provide some more detailed information so folks can continue to set those expectations.

H.H. Okay, where can we expect to get that detailed information, or are you guys going to hold a press conference or anything like that? Today, tomorrow?

A.O. We’ll continue to send out proactive communications through our various channels. So we will continue to talk to our media partners and make sure that you all have that information and can get it in the hands of those who need to hear it. We’ll continue to update the Power Alert service. We’ll also utilize our social media channels to get that messaging out as well. So more information to come. And we just appreciate our customers’ patience. We know it’s difficult. And as you mentioned, a critical service that folks need. So we are continuing to work as quickly as we can.

H.H. It really is. And we want to let you do your job because we want our power back on. So we don’t want to be bothering you. That’s why I was just wondering if there’s a specific time we can expect to get answers so that we aren’t bothering you and interrupting the important work that you’re doing.

A.O. It’s not bothering at all. That’s what my team is here for. So we will make sure to proactively, provide it and by those channels and also direct contact with, with our media partners. So we will be in direct contact with you all as we have additional information to share.

H.H. And while you’re doing your damage assessment, I’m assuming that means that you’re looking at a lot of downed trees on power lines. That’s probably going to impact when you can restore power in those areas. Is there anything that we can do around our homes to make your job easier?

A.O. I think the one thing that I would stress is just safety. So for our crews and for our customers, we would ask that, as you see our folks, they might have to enter into property to access some of our facilities. Just please be mindful and keep a safe distance away. We don’t want customers to be put in in a dangerous and unsafe position. We want our folks to be able to also be safe while they’re trying to complete the work. So just be mindful and keep a safe distance as we’re out completing those tasks. Of course, stay away from downed wires that might be in your area. They could be live. If you witness a hazard such as sparking wires, please call 911 if there’s a fire, but also alert us of that hazard as well.

H.H. Anything else that people can do to be monitoring the power outages in their area? I know that on your website, you give a very, you know, a broad number. Like at one point, we were at 2.2 million people without power, but that was across all of southeast Texas. Is there any way that people can better monitor what’s happening in their specific area?

A.O. We’ll continue to utilize power alert service. So as a crew is assigned to a customer’s outage and they’re enrolled in Power Alert Service, they will receive some updates in that regard. We know that our outage map is not currently functioning and that’s a critical tool. So we’re trying to supply that information and other channels while that tool is not functioning.

H.H. Okay. And what other channels can people monitor? Are we talking about social media?

A.O. We’re talking about our social media channels. We’ll also continue to put important resources and tips via our website so customers can visit centerpointenergy.com/stormcenter. And of course, as I mentioned, we’ll continue our proactive communications. So we will put those out as a company and continue to connect with our partners to make sure those messages are amplified.

H.H. Okay. Is there anything else that we still need? Are you needing to get more crews to come from out of state or anything like that?

A.O. We’re confident and again, thankful that we have the amount of resources, aiding us in these efforts that we do. And so I think I would again, just reiterate that we, we are working as quickly as we can, and we know, that folks are waiting on us, to complete the important work that we need to. So we will continue to do that.

H.H. All right, Alyssia, thank you so much for your time this morning. We appreciate you providing us with those answers. As I said, I know that you guys are hard at work right now.

A.O. Thank you so much.


About the Authors

Historian, educator, writer, expert on "The Simpsons," amateur photographer, essayist, film & tv reviewer and race/religious identity scholar. Joined KPRC 2 in Spring 2024 but has been featured in various online newspapers and in the Journal of South Texas' Fall 2019 issue.

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