It is late August, which means hurricane season is in full swing and our team is closely monitoring the weather in the Gulf of Mexico this week. Hurricane Marco dissipated Monday night as strong upper-level winds stymied its development. Hurricane Laura, however, is a different story. As of 2:00 PM CST on Wednesday, August 26, Laura is bearing down on east Texas and Louisiana and is currently forecasted to come ashore Wednesday night/Thursday morning as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds over 140 mph. While it appears the Houston metro area will, for the most part, dodge this bullet, thunderstorms and 20+ mph winds will likely pass through the region over the next 24 hours. Right now, the greater threat is for residents in east Texas as the storm moves north along the Sabine River into heavily wooded areas. The current trajectory puts folks in the CenterPoint, TNMP, and Oncor service territories right in the path of this major storm, which has the potential to cause widespread, sustained power outages if trees and power lines are damaged. We’re writing to provide resources for those in the path of Hurricane Laura if there are power outages.
The map below (www.puc.texas.gov) shows the service areas for each electric delivery company (or “TDSP”, for Transmission and Distribution Service Provider) in Texas. It is important to remember that these TDSPs (i.e. the company that owns the poles, wires, and meters that deliver power to your property) are the ones to contact in the event of a power outage, and NOT your retail electric provider, or “REP”.
Figure 1: Transmission and Distribution Service Provider Map, from puc.texas.gov
If you are a CenterPoint customer, the online outage map and tracker is located here. If you experience a power outage, you should call (713) 207-2222 or (800) 332-7143.
If you are a TNMP (Texas-New Mexico Power) customer, the online outage map is located here. If you experience a power outage, you should call (888) 866-7456 and select Option 1.
We also suggest using social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) for the latest forecasts and weather updates. Other good resources include: AccuWeather, WeatherNation, National Hurricane Center, and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
The latest storm tracks for Hurricane Laura are below. These graphics are from ABC News via Twitter.
Figure 2: Hurricane Laura Forecast Track, from ABC News Twitter
Figure 3: Hurricane Laura Rainfall Forecast, from ABC News Twitter
Figure 4: Hurricane Laura Storm Surge, from ABC News Twitter