Austin Energy Responds to Harvey, Irma
Restoring Power to Hard-Hit Areas
Tropical Storm Harvey
No longer a hurricane by the time it reached Austin, Tropical Storm Harvey brought high winds and rain to the Austin Energy service area, snapping trees and limbs, pulling down power poles and knocking out power to more than 79,000 customers.
Austin Energy restoration and tree-trimming crews worked around the clock from Aug. 26 through 29 to remove downed vegetation and restore equipment and circuits. The City of Austin Utilities Customer Contact Center fielded more than 6,000 phone calls and another 11,791 were handled by 21st Century, an automated call service that helps with call volume during large outages.
Other Harvey Statistics
- 50 — Poles replaced after Harvey hit Austin
- 609 — Wire Down calls received
- 964 — Tree Limb on Wire calls received
- 177 — Arcing Wire calls received
- 276 — Low Wire calls received
“I am so proud of how everyone at Austin Energy pulled together to safely reconnect power to our customers after Harvey hit Austin,” said Jackie Sargent, General Manager. “It shows how dedicated our Austin Energy team is to our customers and to the community as a whole.”
Sending Help to Texas Gulf Coast
Once restoration and cleanup was completed here in Austin, we also deployed five Austin Energy contract crews and eight tree-trimming crews to assist AEP Texas in restoring power near the Texas Gulf Coast.
In addition, Austin Energy sent 17 network protectors to CenterPoint Energy, the distribution company that serves Houston. A network protector is a highly specialized type of electric device used in distribution systems that helps prevent service interruption. They are typically used in downtown areas.
Sending Help to Jacksonville, Florida
Early on Sunday, Sept. 10, Austin Energy crews loaded up and started making their way to Jacksonville, Florida to assist Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) with restoration from damage after Hurricane Irma. JEA, also a community-owned utility, reached out to Austin Energy prior to the storm’s arrival in anticipation of extensive damage from the storm.
Five Austin Energy crews (31 AE employees) and two City of Austin Fleet Services mechanics made the ~1,000-mile trip to Florida and arrived the evening of Monday, Sept. 11.
The crews drove as a convoy in pickups, bucket trucks and boom trucks/derricks with small cranes to set poles and hauled other necessary equipment such as a pole trailer, material trailers and back yard equipment. Along with the two fleet mechanics, 27 linemen, one coordinator, two supervisors and one superintendent made the trip. JEA will reimburse Austin Energy for the assistance.