Austin area expecting thunderstorms; tips for customers to be prepared

February 28, 2021

On the heels of the largest winter storm to hit the area in decades, Austin may see severe thunderstorms the evening of Sunday, Feb. 28 and into the early morning hours of Monday, March 1. Austin Energy is ready to respond in the event of power outages and has crews on standby. 

Power outages do occasionally happen. One out of three outages in our area are caused by vegetation and weather. Windy and stormy weather can cause tree limbs to break and sway, rubbing against or hitting power lines. This can cause service fluctuations and widespread outages. With so many trees in the area already weakened from the winter storm a few weeks ago, it is possible that we may see outages due to fallen limbs.

Restoring power is more than just flipping a switch. You may see line workers, forestry crews and trucks in your neighborhood, but employees throughout the utility are also working to safely restore power. Our first priority is to keep our crews and customers safe so be aware that weather and other hazards may slow down the power restoration process.

We encourage Austin Energy customers to be prepared for power outages by signing up for our text Outage Alerts and checking our mobile-friendly outage map at Customers can also report outages at 512-322-9100.

Other ways customers can be prepared and stay safe during a storm:

  • Keep cellphones charged and backup chargers fully charged.
  • If working or learning at home, save your work periodically and make sure your devices are on power strips. Using a power strip helps protect electronic devices in case of a power outage. Consider using external power sources for your electronics. 
  • Assemble a storm preparation kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, snacks, water, and other necessities. Make sure everyone in your home knows where to find it.
  • If you experience a power outage, keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed, if possible. Food will stay good up to four hours.
  • Do not drive over or go near a downed power line, it could be energized. Call 512-322-9100 if you see a downed line to report it. If the line is sparking, call 911.
  • If you see limbs on wires or see downed tree limbs, please call 512-322-9100 to report them.