Brownsville Public Utilities Board crew members continued to work around the clock to restore power to over 1,300 customers still without power Friday as a result of the Texas freeze.
As of Friday afternoon, the workers with the utility provider continued to work in areas where 1,319 customers — 314 individual locations — were still waiting to have their electricity restored.
Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez reached out to residents via his Facebook Page on Friday asking those residents who still did not have power at their homes to send their information to him. Mendez said he was going to submit their information to BPUB himself.
When asked why he took this route to help BPUB customers and would it help, Mendez said, “It’s obvious that some of our residents are still without power after several days. Even though their issue is due to equipment issues and not rolling blackouts, I felt it’s necessary for me to step in and do my best to help if I could.”
“Do I think it will help? Absolutely. It definitely will not hurt,” Mendez said.
The area of the city with the most customers who remained without power on Friday is Portofino Boulevard with 200 waiting for their electricity to be restored. Next is Woodside Drive with 84 customers. Many other areas around the city had two customers without power.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas on Friday ended emergency conditions and stated conservation was no longer necessary.
On Thursday, BPUB contracted several private electrical contractors to help speed up the reconnections for its customers. Their utility trucks were spotted around the city. They helped bring back electricity to homes that had been without electricity for days.
BPUB said if a customer continues to experience a power outage after a report that power has been restored it may likely require further troubleshooting by BPUB crews. The customer should report the power outage to BPUB. They ask customers to remain patient while BPUB personnel further investigates the outage.
“As BPUB customers wait to have their power restored they can help by unplugging or turning off equipment while experiencing an outage,” BPUB said in a press release. Officials said this helps prevent that sudden surge of electrical demand and helps get customers restored once power is available.
Mendez said he is “definitely hopeful” that everyone will have power restored by today.
The power outages affecting Brownsville residents began early Monday morning with a combination of problems with the local grid caused by extreme weather, and rotating outages mandated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas due to unprecedented demand for power because of temperatures well below freezing statewide.
BPUB customers can report power outages or service outages at (956) 983-6300. BPUB will keep providing information throughout the emergency.