AUSTIN, Texas —
Austin Energy crews are still working to restore power Wednesday as more storms move into the Central Texas area.
A spokesperson for Austin Energy stated that the company is being cautious and keeping safety as the top priority as crews continue to repair downed power lines. Additionally, residents are asked to continue to give crews grace and patience as they work.
Austin Energy has known about the incoming storms for a few days and stated that the main concern for crews is high winds. The weather will impact the pace of work and workers being able to access their bucket trucks to fix the lines on poles, but crews do not plan on stopping restoration.
There is also a fear that the wind could cause more already compromised trees to fall and create new hazards and outages.
If there are new outages, Matt Mitchell, a spokesperson for Austin Energy, said crews will prioritize critical infrastructure first like hospitals and water facilities. After those are restored, they will focus on people whose power has been out the longest.
"We know where our outages are at this present time, we keep a close eye on where those priority customers are, certainly those who have been without the longest, and we're prioritizing, accordingly. Hang on. We're coming," Mitchell said. "But we would ask for patience as our crews continue to work on those efforts, because we just don't know how brittle these trees are going to be and what that's going to look like as the storm moves through."
Mitchell said a majority of the current outages are small but complex, so crews may need access to some people's property. There have been some instances where people have threatened workers when crews attempted to access property, with one person even pulling a gun on them.
Austin Energy asks that residents let their employees come through and do what they need to do to restore power.
"That's not helpful, and it's not productive. What we're trying to do is get everybody's lights back on as quickly as possible. And we can't do that unless our line workers and our crews that are out in the field feel safe," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said crews are working as hard as they can, and there will be an audit afterwards to assess how things went and what can be improved. For now, the focus is getting everyone's power restored.
"We understand the frustration that is out there. We understand that there's a lot of misinformation out there. But what we're trying to do is get everyone's lights back on," Mitchell said. "And there's a lot of really good people that are working 24 seven to get that done. No one sitting around just twiddling their thumbs."
As of 10: 40 a.m. Wednesday, there were 441 outages affecting 2,209 customers.