Austin Energy employees reflect on Winter Storm Uri one year later

This week marks one year since Winter Storm Uri wreaked havoc on the state’s power grid. Since then, Austin Energy employees have looked at all areas of operation and outlined 19 observations and 112 actionable improvements in an After-Action Report, released last November. 

Austin Energy and Austin Water also conducted internal assessments of their infrastructure, operations and communications during the event and are already implementing actions to prepare for the coming winter season. Those actions include:

  • Continued focus on weatherization processes for generations plants during peak summer and winter weather;
  • Adjusting circuits, or lines of power connecting substations to residential and commercial facilities, to allow greater flexibility when cutting power;
  • Communicating to critical load customers the importance of securing backup power during extreme emergencies;
  • Coordinating with downtown business owners, operators, and occupants to reduce their power consumption during an emergency;
  • Enhancing the outage map and outage notification system; and
  • Concentrating tree trimming efforts near power lines in heavily forested areas.

Austin Energy says it continues to focus on ways to improve on the lessons learned during Winter Storm Uri. Austin Energy is also using the one-year anniversary of the winter storm to acknowledge the work of its staff who served on the front lines of this storm. 

According to Austin Energy, the Utility Customer Care Center and 3-1-1 fielded more than 160,000 calls about power outages the week of the storm. The utility also provided about 1,200 meals a day the week of the storm to Austin Energy employees throughout the city.

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