Austin Energy expects to restore power to 'nearly all' customers by Feb. 12

Austin Energy now says it expects to restore power to "nearly all" remaining customers by next weekend. 

In a tweet late Sunday night, the utility says it is now focusing on the "most complicated & time-consuming restoration efforts" and noted that incoming wind and rain will pose additional challenges.

"Based on current information, we expect to restore power to nearly all remaining customers by Sunday, February 12, with the exception of those in need of electrical repairs to customer-owned or maintained equipment," said Austin Energy in a release. "This estimation is based on the following factors: rate of restoration since the start of the storm, number of workers involved in the restoration process, a more complete damage assessment, and weather."


More than 94% of Austin Energy customers currently have power, but according to Austin Energy's outage map, 20,482 customers still remain without power thanks to 1,039 active outages as of 1:30 p.m. Feb. 6.

North Austin resident Catherine O'Malley is one of those almost 30,000 still without power.

"I wasn’t concerned this time, I was like oh, it’s going to get cold, bring the sensitive plants in, cover stuff and that sort of thing, I thought the roads would get bad," she told FOX 7 Austin. "It didn’t seem like it was going to be a big deal."

O’malley says she didn’t think this winter storm would knock her power out for five days. Austin Energy originally said some people would be in the dark for 12 to 24 hours.

"The broadcast was 12 to 24 hours outage, so we were like okay, we can hold off on that, but I have to admit I was skeptical knowing that it was ice," she said. "I thought that was overly optimistic, so we're waiting a little while it got down to about 49 degrees in the house and then it was like okay, we’ve got to break out the heater."

Austin Energy then said power would be restored by the end of Friday, and on Sunday, thousands still remained without power and likely will for days to come.

"We’ve had no direct communication from Austin Energy other than these auto generated texts, thank you for your patience and to be perfectly honest, patience is wearing thin," O'Malley said.

She says she wants answers. "If they would just be honest and say, we don’t know and here’s why, that’s all we need so we can plan," she said. "There are elderly people, there are people with kids, there are people with infants and toddlers, and they need to be able to plan."


In a press conference Sunday afternoon, Austin Energy said they've made significant progress and that more than 600 workers have been working around the clock to fix this "hurricane-level devastation". Austin Energy says the biggest outages have been fixed and they're working on the smaller, more complex issues now. 

Austin Energy is also preparing for the forecasted storms that are projected to blow in on Tuesday. The utility's field operations vice president warned in Sunday afternoon's press conference that the storms could add to the situation. The expected weather conditions may damage power lines and already weakened trees, causing additional outages, increasing the risk for lineworkers, and slowing progress, says the utility. 

"We're in full blown war right now, if it comes in we've got everybody we've got on the street, we're on rotating 12 hours shifts with everybody, so we're ready," said Elton Richards. "We just want you guys to know it may potentially add to what we've got." 

Austin Energy says restoration will continue until every customer is back online and that it will reassess the situation and provide a revised update midweek.

The city of Austin says those who remain without power or can no longer afford to stay in a hotel can dial 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 to request overnight stays at the City's emergency shelter, where sleeping cots, shower facilities, food and water, pet sheltering, charging stations will be accessible.