Rolling Blackouts Affect Brownsville Residents


POSTED: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 4:28pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 10:08am

Freezing temperatures are forcing residents all across Texas to crank up their heaters. The overload in electric use has prompted the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to request rolling blackouts among electric providers throughout the Lonestar State .

Here locally, that includes Brownsville's PUB. The goal is to conserve electricity.

At some point Wednesday you probably experienced loss of power, whether you were at home, work, or out and about on the roads.

The 30 minute blackouts started early this Wednesday morning.

"When the lights went out the first time we lit the candles and made sure we had the flashlight and candles." said a homeowner from the Los Ebanos subdivision.

He’s not alone, thousands of residents across the city also experienced darkness.

For those who had to get out and get on to work, the morning commute in some areas was congested.

Traffic signals at the intersection of Boca Chica and Paredes Line, among others, traffic took the power hit forcing drivers to temporarily navigate through the busy intersections with no guidance. On a couple of occasions near collisions, but within about five minutes officers arrived to direct traffic.

While some were off to work, others were out to run errands. One man and his wife experienced a black out at their home but didn't think the store they were trying to shop at would be without power too.

"It's a waste of my time looking for stores that are open." said the man.

He'd have to look beyond the shopping center off of Boca Chica to get what he needed because all the lights were out.

One clothing store let their customers continue to shop in natural lighting, but then decided to close. Within about 10 minutes in to the rolling blackout, the majority of the businesses chose to lock their doors until the electricity fired back up.

"They're closed, I didn't know that, but now I know it's closed." said a turned away shopper.

"I'm just trying to find a pair of gloves and everything is shut down." said a shopper braving the cold temperatures.

She'll definitely be needing those gloves. The temperatures are only expected to get colder and that means there's a possibility that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas may continue calling for the blackouts.

"If this cold snap continues like it is, and it's expected to get worse, if it continues, then they may be bumping up the amount of blackouts that will be happening." said Alicia Warner of Brownsville PUB.

News Center 23 will keep you up to date with the very latest regarding the rolling blackouts.

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