‘Go figure’: Houstonians use Whataburger’s app as power outage tracker since CenterPoint’s isn’t working

HOUSTON – One thing Texans are going to do -- put Whataburger to good use.

Hurricane Beryl left more than 2.2 million CenterPoint Energy customers across the Houston area without power on Monday.

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

Since then, many families and businesses have been waiting to get their power back on and some have complained about a lack of transparency from the utility.

“It was a real shocker to have this scenario all over again,” said Laura Morgan, a Garden Oaks resident who also lost power during the May derecho. “During derecho, I was actually able to get ahold of a human being. And this time, I haven’t been able to get through at all.”

A Tomball man’s post on X is going viral about using the Whataburger app as an outage tracker.

“The humorous thing is, people are using the Whataburger app,” Morgan said. “We’ve been looking to see where power comes on through Whataburger. Go figure.”

The X post has nearly 10 million views, more than 1,800 bookmarks, and 5,800 reposts.

It appears gray stores don’t have power while those with orange logos are energized.

Since May’s Derecho struck the Houston area, CenterPoint’s outage tracker hasn’t been the most reliable.

“How in the world can they have something that people are relying on versus center point? It makes no sense,” Morgan said.

Whataburger President and CEO, Ed Nelson released the following statement:

“Whataburger is that friend by your side in good times and bad. We’re glad the Whataburger app has been helpful to Houston residents to understand where power is available in the city. Keep in mind, the app should only be used as a general idea of power availability. We encourage residents to call local units to see if they are open and operating. Everyone please be safe if you leave your home.”

On Tuesday night, CenterPoint released an initial restoration status tracker, which is a scaled down version of the tracker that was used before the derecho.

“As CenterPoint completes its damage assessment in the coming days, it will provide more detailed information about expected restoration timing,” the utility wrote in a statement.

About the Authors

Award-winning journalist, mother, YouTuber, social media guru, millennial, mentor, storyteller, University of Houston alumna and Houston-native.

Bryce Newberry joined KPRC 2 in July 2022. He loves the thrill of breaking news and digging deep on a story that gets people talking.

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