Austin's NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
An ice storm hit the Austin area the week of Jan. 30. Hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses lost power as ice-covered trees toppled power lines across the city.

Here are some resources for Austinites who are still without power

Power lines connected to the roof of a Central Austin home are damaged by fallen tree limbs
Renee Dominguez
/
KUT
Power lines connected to the roof of a Central Austin home are damaged by fallen tree limbs.

Lee esta historia en español

Thousands of Austin Energy customers may have to wait another week for their power to return because of the complicated process for fixing outages. Wind and rain in the forecast could also slow down progress.

If your power is still out, visit Austin Energy's website to report or check the status. The utility has had technical issues with the reporting system since outages began and is urging customers to have patient. Customers can also call 512-322-9100.

The utility advises residents without power to make sure thermostats and appliances are turned off and to leave only one light on to indicate when power is back. This helps avoid "cold load pickup," which happens when circuits become overloaded and can cause another outage.

Austin Energy is unable to provide an estimated restoration time for individual customers, so here are some resources that can help in the meantime:

Shelter

The City of Austin is providing emergency shelter for residents without power. The shelter includes sleeping cots, showers, food and water, charging stations and pet sheltering.

To request an overnight stay, call 311. After making a request, residents can expect to receive a call from city personnel with information about next steps.

"The emergency shelter can hold up to 1,000 people, but is currently set up for 80," said Shelley Parks, a spokesperson for the city. "As of 1 p.m. there have been 61 inquiries from people and 20 pets."

Parks said pets are allowed as long as they are crated and not exotic.

The city said it is not providing hotel vouchers, nor is the Red Cross.

Food

If your power has been out for multiple days, it’s likely your perishable food has spoiled.

The Central Texas Food Bank is distributing food at a drive-thru event Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Delco Activity Center on 4601 Pecan Brook Dr. The food bank will load dry goods and perishables, not requiring electricity for preparation, directly into your vehicle’s trunk.

The event is first come, first served, with enough food to feed about 500 households. If you’re unable to get food, visit the Central Texas Food Bank’s Find Food Now tool or call 211 to be connected to a nearby food pantry.

Mobile charging

Austin Energy has parked a bus for people to charge their devices at the Tony Burger Center on 3200 Jones Road on Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bring your own charging cord.

The bus is also an opportunity for residents to receive information about the city’s financial utilities assistance and Medically Vulnerable Program.

This post will be updated with additional resources as they become known. Got something we should add? Email news@kut.org.

Related Content