Update, Sunday, 4:06 p.m.

The Friendswood Independent School District is asking families to attend school virtually on Monday, because some of the district's building do not have heat or air conditioning.

The Texas City Independent School District will be open on Monday.

League City and Bacliff have lifted their boil water notices.


Update, Sunday, 2:56 p.m.

Dickinson Independent School District is closed Monday, however staff members will report to work for a professional development day, the district said.


Update, Sunday, 2:40 p.m.

Clear Creek Independent School District will be closed on Monday, due to ongoing cleanup efforts from last week's winter storm and lingering boil water notices in Harris and Galveston Counties.

"Our maintenance and operations teams have done an outstanding job in getting our facilities back in order," district superintendent Eric Williams wrote in a letter to parents. "However, there are several schools still offline due to plumbing issues. Those issues require parts that will not arrive until Monday."

The district is the first local district to announce a full closure. On Sunday afternoon, the Galveston Independent School District announced it would be mostly open Monday. The district's schools on Bolivar Peninsula will be closed, however, due to low water pressure.

The Santa Fe Independent School District announced it would be completely open on Monday.

The Dickinson, Hitchcock and Texas City School District haven't announced decisions about classes for Monday.


Update, Sunday: 12:51 p.m.

The Bolivar Peninsula Special Utility District has also lifted its boil water notice, according to the district's website.


Update, Sunday, 12:35 p.m.

Hitchcock is the third city today to announce it has lifted its boil water notice.

Friendswood, Jamaica Beach, Kemah, League City, San Leon, Bacliff, Bayview and Bolivar Peninsula are still under boil water order, according to the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management.


Update, Sunday, 12:08 p.m.

La Marque has lifted its boil water notice, the city said in a tweet.


Update, Sunday, 10:07 a.m.

The city of Galveston has lifted its boil water notice.

The city received laboratory results certifying municipal water is safe to drink and use for cooking. With that result, and with the city's water system up to normal pressure, officials lifted the boil water notice that had been in place since Wednesday.

The city also lifted its remaining restrictions on water use.

Water problems on the island are now limited to individual homes and businesses, the city said.

"If you do not have water in your home, it is likely due to an isolated shutoff due to repair work," the city said.

People who find leaks in their homes should contain them by turning their water off, the city said. People who need help turning off their water can call the municipal utilities department at 409-797-3630.

Boil water notices are still in effect in other parts of the county.


Update, Sunday, 9:11 a.m.

Most of Galveston County is still under boil water notices this morning.

According to the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, Bayou Vista, Clear Lake Shores, Dickinson, Friendswood, Galveston, Hitchcock, Jamaica Beach, Kemah, La Marque, League City, San Leon, Bacliff, Bayview and Bolivar Peninsula all still have boil-water notices.

On Friday and Saturday, the cities of Dickinson and Texas City lifted their orders. There hasn't been a boil-water notice in Santa Fe through the crisis.

Unboiled water might have bacteria in it due to untreated water and debris getting into water systems in recent days. Water-boil notices can only be lifted after water systems are brought up to full pressure and after water is tested in a lab and deemed safe.

League City announced Sunday morning that it might take until Monday for the city to receive an update on its water quality tests.


Update, Saturday, 10:59 a.m.

The White House has approved a major disaster declaration for 77 counties in Texas including Galveston County, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday morning.

The declaration means that people whose property sustained damage during the storm can apply for individual assistance through FEMA.

"I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state," said Governor Abbott. "While this partial approval is an important first step, Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need. The funds provided under the major disaster declaration may provide crucial assistance to Texans as they begin to repair their homes and address property damage.”

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY.


Update, Friday, 5:41 p.m.

Galveston continues to be under Stage 5 water restrictions, with officials asking residents to conserve water.

The city is prohibiting washing cars and filling pools and asks residents to avoid running dishwashers and washing machines, according to the city. Residents also should limit showers to five minutes or less, according to the city.

The utility department has a backlog of requests to turn water off and will prioritize shutting off water rather than turning it back on because of the need to conserve water, according to the city.

Plumbers can turn residents' private water service lines back on if they have completed repairs, according to the city.

Galveston is waiting for additional bottled water from the state but wasn't sure when it would arrive, according to a release.

The city also is waiving permit and inspection fees for all work related to repairs from the winter storm until May 22.


Update, Friday, 12:45 p.m.

Just before noon the Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced that grid operations had returned to normal. Sharing, "we are no longer asking for energy conservation" on social media.

At 12:30 p.m., the city of Texas City lifted the boil-water notice in effect for residents.

"The Texas City public water system has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the quality of the water used for human consumption purposes, resulting in the boil-water notice to be lifted for all Texas City residents. To help maintain water pressure we are still asking residents to do what they can to conserve water."

Boil-water warnings remain in effect for other parts of Galveston County.


Update, Friday, 11:45 a.m.

Daily News weather blogger Stan Blazyk has shared what we can expect from Mother Nature in the next seven days:

Sunlight at the end of the tunnel; better weather ahead for the area


Update, Friday, 8:49 a.m.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas on Friday morning announced that it would come out of emergency condition later this morning.

There is enough power generation in the Texas electrical system to return to normal operations for the first time since Sunday, ERCOT said in the press release.

ERCOT didn't order additional mandatory outages overnight to keep power supply and electric demand in balance. Any ongoing outages are due to electric utility outages.

There were about 700 power outages reported in Galveston County on Friday morning, most of them on Galveston Island.


Update, Thursday, 6:32 p.m.

Gov. Greg Abbott sent a message Thursday afternoon that no Texas residents should be experiencing power outages because of lack of power generation. 

If residents didn't have power, it was because of downed power lines or the need for the power company to manually reconnect power, Abbott said in a Tweet. 

CenterPoint Energy was reporting less than 14,00 customers without power as of 6:30 p.m.


Update, Thursday, 4:35 p.m.

The Galveston Marathon, which was scheduled for Sunday, has been canceled in light of the winter weather crisis. 

Race organizers didn't want to put further stress on city infrastructure and ask city crews to police a run, according to a statement from race organizers. 

Directors plan to reschedule the race, according to the organizers. 


Update, Thursday: 1:24 p.m.

Bottled water and portable restrooms will be arriving in Galveston today, officials announced this afternoon. The aid is meant to help people through the ongoing water and power crisis.

The bottled water will be given out to both island and mainland residents. 

About 75 percent of the city of Galveston has had water restored, though much of it at reduced pressure. The island and many parts of the county are still under boil-water notices. 

The city's water supply is consistent, but if it begins to be depleted the city would have to shut off water again, officials said. Residents are being advised to conserve water. 

The city will begin accepting donations of bottled water 9 a.m. Friday at the Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway, and is asking anyone with bottled water to spare to donate it for distribution to those without.

As of noon, CenterPoint Energy reported 40,000 customers were without power. 

Residents should expect continued rolling blackouts and water disruptions, the city said.

Residents also should photograph evidence of all expenses incurred because of the winter storm, such as broken pipes, spoiled food, lodging and water damage, in case individual assistance from FEMA becomes available. 


Update, Thursday, 8:30 a.m.

Galveston water tanks are holding a steady level of water, but that level isn't increasing, according to the city. City officials are trying to avoid shutting off water again to preserve supply, officials said.

The city has restored water to many areas serviced by the 30th Street and Scholes International Airport pump stations, but some residents still don't have water. Crews are continuing to work on restoring service. 

Residents might still experience isolated shutoffs as crews work on broken water mains. If residents' properties have leaks, owners should shut off the water, call a plumber and call the city utility department at 409-797-3630. 

Residents should expect to be under a boil-water notice through the weekend and should try to conserve water as much as possible, according to the city. 


Update, Thursday, 8:08 a.m.

Just fewer than 5,000 customers remain without power in Galveston County according to the latest reported data from CenterPoint Energy, Texas-New Mexico Power and Entergy Texas.

Figures show that more than 27,000 customers in each of Galveston, Texas City and League City had power restored overnight. With 1,515 customers still without power, League City has the largest current outage at this time.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas remains in Emergency Alert level 3 and more rotating outages are possible today. Current grid data from ERCOT forecasts that demand could outpace electric capacity later this morning.

Boil-water advisories remain in effect for large parts of Galveston County today.

Temperatures will hover in the 40s this afternoon before falling back below freezing tonight. A Hard Freeze Warning remains in effect until 9 a.m. Friday for all of Galveston County.

Friday's forecast from the National Weather Service shows temperatures will be in the 40s again, dipping below freezing one last time Friday night in northern Galveston County but staying above the 32 degrees mark on Galveston Island as temperatures climb toward 60 degrees on Sunday.


Update, Wednesday, 9:21 p.m.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been able to restore power to the equivalent of 1.6 million households, according to a recent release. 

Energy producers could generate enough energy to produce 1,000 megawatts per hour. 

"We’re at a point in the restoration where we’re going to keep energizing circuits as fast as we safely can until we run out of available generation," Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin said in a statement. "We hope to make significant progress overnight."

As more demand is put on the system overnight, it's possible that local utilities will continue with rolling outages, according to the release. 

Several areas of Galveston, some of which had been without power for more than 60 hours amid frigid temperatures, reported power being restored on Wednesday evening. As of 9:30 p.m., 25 percent of Galveston homes and businesses were without power, according to CenterPoint Energy's outage tracker. As the day began, 82 percent of homes and businesses didn't have power.


Update, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.

Some Galveston residents are starting to get water back, according to the city. Residents serviced by the 30th Street pump station and the Scholes International Airport pump station might have had their service restored this afternoon.

Many residents likely won't have water, however, and people should expect isolated shutoffs as crews work on damage to water mains and restore water. 

Residents who find a water leak on their property should shut off the water until a plumber can address the damage.

Call the city at 409-797-3630 to report a water line break. 

The city is under a boil-water advisory, so residents are advised to boil water before drinking it. 


Update, Wednesday, 4:40 p.m.

Residents who need bottled water can go to McGuire-Dent Recreation Center, 2222 28th St., starting at 6 p.m. and pick up water. 

Each resident will get four bottles, according to the city. 

Rep. Mayes Middleton donated the water to the city. 

The city asks people not to arrive before 6 p.m. People will also be able to warm up inside McGuire-Dent starting at 6 p.m.


Update, Wednesday, 3:48 p.m.

The City of Texas City has issued a boil-water notice and asked residents to minimize water usage and discontinue dripping faucets.


Update, Wednesday, 3:09 p.m.

Clear Creek ISD has also announced it will remain closed through Friday due to lack of power and water and schools and district facilities.


Update, Wednesday, 2:47 p.m.

Galveston ISD, Dickinson ISD and College of the Mainland have joined other educators in the County by cancelling all classes and activities through the remainder of this week.


Update, Wednesday, 1:47 p.m.

Much of Galveston County is now under boil-water notices, including the following areas:

• Bacliff MUD

• Bayou Vista

• Bayview MUD

• BPSUD

• Clear Lake Shores

• Friendswood

• Galveston

• Hitchcock

• Kemah

• La Marque

• League City

• San Leon MUD

• Tiki Island

Dickinson was erroneously included on a list published by the County that has now been corrected.


Update, Wednesday, 1:40 p.m.

Santa Fe ISD has also announced that it will remain closed for the remainder of the week and hopes to be fully operational by Monday.


Update, Wednesday, 1:25 p.m.

Texas City ISD has announced that it will remain closed for the remainder of the week with plans to reopen on Monday.


Update, Wednesday, 12:30 p.m.

The city of Dickinson and Dickinson Independent School District set up a warming center at the Barber Middle School gym, 5651 FM 517 Road E, Mayor Sean Skipworth said. Local residents also will be able to charge their personal and medical devices, he added.

Residents that need shelter can show up at the north parking lot of Barber or call the police if they need assistance going to the center, Skipworth said. The city is not offering food or water or accepting pets at this time, he added.


Update, Wednesday, 11:27 a.m.

Galveston Mayor Craig Brown is hopeful water will be restored to customers by the end of the day Wednesday, he said. 

The city is filling up its East End tank, which supplies the University of Texas Medical Branch and its West End tanks now, he said. When those tanks are filled to 75 percent, the city will pressurize the water for use and then start filling tanks for the middle of the island, Brown said. 

Even when water is restored, residents should not drink it unless they boil it, he said. 

Brown wasn't sure when power would be restored, he said. CenterPoint Energy is working on rolling blackouts that will give residents at least some time with power, he said. 

Brown warned of power issues through the week, he said. 

"We’ll probably have rolling blackouts through the weekend and possibly beyond," Brown said. 

The city issued a boil-water advisory late Tuesday night. 

League City and Friendswood also have issued boil-water notices. 


Update, Wednesday, 10:17 a.m.

It's not just Galveston urging its residents to save and boil water. Multiple other cities in the county have put out advisories on water issues because of shortages caused by broken lines and low supply.

The following cities or municipal utilities have issued water conservation orders or otherwise asked people to conserve water

- Galveston County Water Control and Improvement District #1 in Dickinson

- Bacliff Municipal Utility District

- Bayview Municipal Utility District

- San Leon Municipal Utility District

- League City

- Friendswood

- Texas City

The following cities have issued conservation and boil-water advisories:

- La Marque

- Bolivar Peninsula Special Utility District

- Hitchcock


Update, Wednesday, 8 a.m.

The water crisis in Galveston has caused the county's largest hospital to shift to emergency operations.

The University of Texas Medical Branch on Wednesday morning ordered employees who weren't critical to inpatient care at its Galveston campus to stay home from work because of the limited supplies of water.

Buildings that aren't related to patient care are closed, including ambulatory clinics and in-person urgent care sites in Galveston.

The medical branch's hospitals and emergency rooms are open, but elective surgeries and procedures have been postponed on all campuses.

No visitors will be allowed at the Galveston campus, the medical branch said. The only exceptions are visitors to end-of-life patients and people accompanying vulnerable patients.


Update, Wednesday, 6:25 a.m.

Line breaks and supply issues have dropped water supplies in the city of Galveston to critically low levels, according to the city. Most people could access water through their taps on Wednesday morning.

The shortage caused the city to issue Stage 5 water restrictions and asked residents to curtail their water use as much as possible. Showers should be limited to five minutes or less, and the use of water for landscaping is prohibited. 

When the water does return, there will be a boil water notice in effect, the city said.

The water shortage began around 10 p.m. Tuesday and was initially reported as a loss of supply from the Gulf Coast Water Authority, which supplies the island with all of its water.

Officials initially said they hoped water service would return quickly, but by 6 a.m. Wednesday there was no initial change.

In a press release sent at 1:20 a.m., the city announced the new water restrictions and blamed the shortages on broken pipes caused by the prolonged freeze on Monday and Tuesday and on the supply issue from the water authority.

Below-freezing temperatures over the last two days caused water line breaks in homes and businesses to occur throughout the city, putting increased demand on the infrastructure and water supply system," the city said. "During this time, the Gulf Coast Water Authority (GCWA), the city's water supplier, separately encountered a water supply issue, which greatly reduced the flow of water to the island."

The water authority has drawn down on its available water supplies, and demand for water that is available is exceeding supplies, the city said.

"The city’s water supply is critically low, and efforts are ongoing to fill tanks while GCWA is still delivering water," the city said.

Once the water is restored, the city will be under a boil-water notice, which means that tap water used for cooking, drinking and for ice should be boiled before being used.

For many people on the island, that task will be difficult. Around 82 percent of home and businesses on the island didn't have power on Wednesday morning, according to CenterPoint Energy's outage tracker.


Update, Tuesday, 6:08 p.m.

Galveston College canceled Wednesday classes and College of the Mainland has canceled Wednesday and Thursday classes.


Update, Tuesday, 4:36 p.m.

Dickinson, Clear Creek, Hitchcock and Santa Fe independent school districts have cancelled classes for Wednesday and Thursday because of the icy conditions and power outages. Galveston and Texas City closed schools for Wednesday. 


Update, Tuesday, 12:24 p.m.

Parts of the West and East End of the island are starting to come back online, according to the city of Galveston.

Residents across town are reporting power returning sporadically for some residents.

The city is warning people that if they get power back on, they should try to conserve water.

“We anticipate that there will be major water line breaks,” city spokeswoman Marissa Barnett said. “As things heat up, that’s when we’ll start seeing whether there are a lot of water line breaks.”

If too many pipes break and the city loses too much water, it could deplete reserves, she said.

Power outages have also affected The Daily News building. 


Update, Tuesday, 7:53 a.m.

As residents woke up cold Tuesday morning, the city still didn’t have an update from CenterPoint Energy on when power would be restored, Galveston City Manager Brian Maxwell said.

“They refused to roll the power outages,” Maxwell said. “I’ve lost all patience with them.”

The city didn’t have guarantees that the power would come back on Tuesday, he said.

Maxwell and other city officials have asked CenterPoint to roll outages and give residents just a few hours of power, he said.

“We understand that there’s a bigger problem that they’re having to deal with and we don’t think Galveston should have any special privileges, but it’s just wrong that they would not roll these power outages,” Maxwell said.

The city opened a warming station at McGuire-Dent Recreation Center Monday night and could do so again if needed, Maxwell said. Monday night brought the coldest temperatures expected for the week.

The city has been told that Galveston, with its medical system, port and industry, consumes a higher concentration of power than other areas and that turning off the city was a decision, Maxwell said.

The city has fire department crews on alert to respond to residents who need help Tuesday and public works crews checking for leaks in the pipe systems.

It’s likely the city will shift to water conservation mode sometime Tuesday and tell residents to conserve water because of leaks and burst pipes, Maxwell said.

Small areas west of 61st Street and areas around the University of Texas Medical Branch have reports of power.


Update, Tuesday, 6:21 a.m.

People in Galveston County are waking up this morning to mostly the same situation they were in on Monday evening. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses are without power amid below-freezing temperatures.

Most of the Galveston Island has been without since 8 a.m. Monday.

Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing throughout the morning, according to weather forecasts.

Neither the Electric Reliability Council of Texas nor the three power transmission companies that serve Galveston County posted new updates about power restoration efforts overnight.

There were scattered reports of power returning to some areas of the county, including near 61st Street in Galveston, and in some parts of Santa Fe and Hitchcock.


Update, Monday, 7:24 p.m.

Temperature in Galveston County and across southeast Texas are expected to hit unprecedented lows tonight, according to the National Weather Weather Service in League City.

Temperatures in Galveston County are predicted to drop to 16 degrees to lower, the lowest temperatures recorded in the area in more than 30 years, according to the weather service.

The wind chill will make things feel like it is 2 degrees out or colder, according to the weather service.

The cold is life-threatening to people and animals that don't have adequate warmth and shelter. People exposed to the cold could begin to suffer from frostbit and hypothermia, according to the weather service.


Update, Monday 5:36 p.m.

Grid operator the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has restored power to about 500,000 homes that lost electricity because of extreme cold, the operator announced in a release.

The council is trying to restore power to other residential customers still without power, according to the statement.

In Galveston County, many residents reported about 5 p.m. they were still without power, some going on 15 hours.

About a million CenterPoint Energy customers were still without power, Galveston Operations Manager Russell Laird said.

About 12,560 customers in Hitchcock, La Marque, Tiki Island and Galveston did not have power as of 5 p.m., he said.

Which areas get power back is not random, although the system is not based on geography, Laird said. As a particular amount of megawatt power becomes available, the council will direct it to an area that uses that level of power and will try to fit the megawatts available to the megawatts needed, he said.

"There is a systematic approach,” Laird said.

The council had required the utilities, like CenterPoint, to shut off power because there wasn’t enough energy being generated in the state to meet demand, Laird said. Until the utilities get the go-ahead from the council, they can't deliver power, he said.

“At this point in time, anything I told you I would be making up,” Laird said.

Laird expects some customers in the area will still be without power Tuesday, he said.


Update, Monday, 5:19 p.m.

Galveston officials are holding out hope that power could be restored to parts of the island tonight, and say they are trying to pressure CenterPoint Energy and state officials for solutions.

At the top of the city's concerns is the apparent disproportionate outages between Galveston and other local communities. 

City officials said their understanding was that CenterPoint was ordered by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to "shed" 25 percent of its power demands early Monday morning. That apparently less to the mass outages on the island, city officials said

What's unclear to city officials why Galveston customers were so widely affected, when it appears that other cities, including Houston, had a smaller percentage of customers take.

State Rep. Mayes Middleton, who represents Galveston, said he was seeking answers from the companies and the regulators about what exactly happened.

"This is just not making sense," Middleton said. "They're saying there's engineering reason for it. But they sure don't make sense to me."


Update, Monday, 4:30 p.m.

The City of La Marque will open a warming center at the La Marque High School, 397 Duroux Road, starting at 6:30 p.m., according to Mayor Keith Bell. 

Bell also made a social media post earlier in the day saying that Texas-New Mexico Power informed city officials that there were no downed services in La Marque.

"Anyone without power is in rolling blackout," Bell said. "Some are being left off longer and others are not being affected.

"Our providers (TNMP and Center Point) are working with ERCOT trying to get a better rolling system working," he said. "They are anticipating this to continue through tomorrow."


Update, Monday, 3:47 p.m.

The city of Galveston will open McGuire-Dent Recreation Center tonight to anyone who needs shelter from the cold, Galveston Mayor Craig Brown said.

The recreation center, at 2222 28th St, will open its doors at 6 p.m. and will be open from 10 a.m. Tuesday. Anyone is welcome, Brown said.

The announcement comes when there is little apparent progress on restoring power to Galveston. Some parts of the island have been without power since 2 a.m.

On Monday afternoon, Brown said the city was getting mixed messages from CenterPoint Energy and the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas about who is responsible for the prolonged outage.

“Someone will need to answer for this,” Brown said.


Update, Monday, 3:07 p.m.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday he was deploying additional state resources to respond to the extreme cold weather across Texas.

The state is sending National Guard troops to conduct welfare checks and personnel to help local officials clear roadways and assist essential workers, according from a statement from Abbott’s office.

Abbott had Sunday received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Energy to allow Texas power generators to increase production, but some of those generators weren’t able to do so because of the weather conditions, according to the statement.

"Due to the severe weather and freezing temperatures across our state, many power companies have been unable to generate power, whether it’s from coal, natural gas or wind power,” Abbott said in a statement.

Power generators were working Monday to restore power, according to Abbott’s statement.


Update, Monday, 2:03 p.m. 

Most of the city of Santa Fe has been without power since 2 a.m., city manager Glen Adams said. Like Galveston, power in Santa Fe is delivered by CenterPoint Energy.

The city is relying on Galveston County's emergency management department for updates about outages and power restoration, Adams said. 

A call between local emergency managers is planned for 3:30 p.m. to discuss emergency shelter options, Adams said. There is particular worry about people who are dependent on supplemental oxygen to survive.

Adams said he was confused about why the power outage was so prolonged in his city compared to other places, noting the power draw from winter heating is Texas is probably far less than is needed during the hot and humid dog days of summer.

"You'd figure that power you need in the summer is more than what they'll need in the winter," Adams said.


Update, Monday, 12:26 p.m.

The mayors of Galveston and Texas City have declared emergencies because of the prolonged power outages in the cities.

The city of Galveston was between 90 percent and 95 percent without power at about 11:30 a.m., Galveston Mayor Craig Brown said. Some homes have been without power for more than 10 hours.

City officials were in direct contact with CenterPoint and other officials and have expressed the urgency, and their anger over, the situation.

"We were thinking it was going to be a rolling blackout, and it's turned into a permanent blackout," Brown said.

Brown said he was told that CenterPoint was responding to directions from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to maintain the power outages in Galveston.

"They are being directed by ERCOT on how they're handling this, and that's what we're trying to get resolved," Brown said. "We explained to them in very pointed terms that we need to have the power on down here. We have individuals that are elderly and disabled, and in situations that could be life-threatening. We need to have power on."

Texas City Mayor Dedrick Johnson also said he had reports of outages going on for more than 10 hours.

The city was working to set up an aid station at a school for residents whose lives were being threatened by the outages, such as people who use oxygen. But urged those people who were simply without power to stay at home.

When a shelter is ready, the city will announce its plans on its website and on social media, Johnson said.


Update, Monday, 9:52 a.m

With power out across League City, officials said their biggest struggle Monday morning was finding a facility to open as a warming center, city spokeswoman Sarah Greer Osborne said.

"At a certain point, if someone is without power for six hours, especially the elderly, that’s a concern," Greer Osborne said. "At the same time, we don’t want them out on the roads."

Thus far, the city has not had major issues with broken pipes or major accidents, she said.

The city has generators at city hall and the police department, but all other municipal buildings are without power.


Update, Monday, 9:30 a.m.

CenterPoint Energy is warning its customers they should be prepared to be without power for all of Monday.

In a Twitter post, the company, which serves Houston, Galveston, Santa Fe and other local communities, said the Texas electric system is facing "an unprecedented power shortage situation."

The problem isn't going to be fixed soon, the company said.

"If you are a customer who is currently experiencing an outage, you should be prepared to be without power for at least the rest of the day," the company said.

The company said Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is responsible for managing the state's electrical grid, asked companies to reduce power for longer than initially thought, which has caused outages longer than the 15 or 30 minutes the company originally anticipated.

The company said it was at the mercy of forces it can't control.

"As you may know, CenterPoint Energy is a transmission and distribution company and does not generate power, so the shortage of power generation capacity we are facing is not something we can directly address," the company said.


Update, Monday, 7:33 a.m.

Some people on Galveston Island have been without power since at least 2 a.m.

Areas without power include the city's downtown, the East End Historic District and the Silk Stocking District, as well as some West End neighborhoods.

Centerpoint Energy's power outage tracker is down, and there was no immediate estimate about when power would be restored.

In a Twitter post at 6:30 a.m., Centerpoint said it was complying with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to curtail power usage. The council manages the state's grid.

"As a result, customers may experience longer outages than previously anticipated," the company said. "We appreciate your patience."


Update, Monday, 7:09 a.m.

Ice is reported on all roadways in or near Galveston County, including the southbound side of the Galveston Causeway, on state Highway 6 at its intersection with state Highway 135 in Alvin, on NASA Road 1 at Lakeshore Drive in El Lago and on FM 518 at Winding Way Drive in Friendswood.

None of those are reported closed. 

NASA Road 1, a raised roadway at the end of Interstate 45, is closed because of ice, according to Houston Transtar. The road is expected to be closed through Wednesday.


GALVESTON

State and local officials are urging people to stay home and conserve energy this morning after a winter storm dropped snow and iced up roads across Galveston County, and peoples' efforts to stay warm across Texas caused the state's electricity council to call for rolling blackouts to manage the crisis.

It was about 36 degrees on Galveston Island at 6:30 a.m., but strong winds made the temperature feel like 6 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in League City.

In League City, the temperature felt like 11 degrees.

The weather service warned that more roads aren't safe for passage in Southeast Texas because of ice and power outages.

Texas-New Mexico Power, which serves parts of the mainland, on Monday morning reported more than 19,000 power outages in League City, 7,700 outages in Texas City and 1,600 outages in La Marque. The power outage tracker for CenterPoint Energy was disabled Monday morning because its servers were too busy.

Early Monday morning, the Energy Reliability Council of Texas announced it would begin rolling blackouts across Texas to reduce demand on electrical systems. The blackouts were planned to last between 15 and 30 minutes, and could leave traffic lights and other infrastructure.

This is story will be continually updated with new information throughout the day.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

Locations

Deputy Managing Editor

Margaret joined The Daily New in December 2019, bringing more than 20 years of editorial experience to the team. A Philadelphia native, she lives in Galveston County with her husband, Steve, and their dog Nanook.

Reporter

Myer joined The Daily News in later 2020 after previously working at our sister newspaper the Del Rio News-Herald.

Media & Technology Director

Kevin joined The Daily News as a photojournalist in 2006. He has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a minor in Photography from Texas State University. He lives in League City with his wife Ashley, a wedding photographer.

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(30) comments

Susan Smith

36??

Marty Fluke

Does all of Monday mean until midnight?

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

We're not sure. They don't have specific timelines. As soon as we know more, we'll post it.

Nancy Greenfield

On the west end we lost power at 2:30 am. Outside it is 23. Our homes do not have gas heat. It is getting very cold.

Jason Rush

Many of us with gas are in the same boat, because modern, central air-based gas furnaces operate via electricity. I do wish I kept a few of my old school gas-burning space heaters that were in my old 1900 storm survivor. Would be cozy.

Gary Miller

People who bought solar panels are in same boat.Their batteries went dead this AM. They were told they could buy power off the grid if needed but their grid is down.

Bill Broussard

Nancy. We do have gas heat but electric thermostats that render them useless

Gary Miller

Not mentioned reason for the shortages is wind and solar farms are not producing rated amounts of power. Back up systems are too small or slow coming on line. Green energy works, sort of, until every thing freezes or is covered with snow and ice.

Gary Scoggin

I wonder how the wind farms in Indiana manage to get by?

Bailey Jones

According to my friends in Illinois, they work just fine up there. And in those balmy Nordic countries. I would imagine that the problem is similar to ice on airplane wings, and the solution is probably the same - heaters, etc.

A good discussion of their performance during the 2019 Winter Vortex is here - https://energynews.us/2019/02/27/midwest/wind-turbine-shutdowns-during-polar-vortex-stoke-midwest-debate/

Gary Miller

G.Scoggin> Wild turbines for cold climates are designed to protect themselves. Adds a big cost to each turbine.

Gary Scoggin

Got it. Thanks. So that gets to the cost/risk benefit for the ones down here and how they were done.

Jim Forsythe

The Governor said that what happened in the last few days, needs good hard look at what went wrong. They will most likely do some type of root cause analyses.

Gary Miller, if you think that wind power and solar let us down, think again.

Most of sources of power that went offline were natural gas, coal or nuclear facilities that shut down. Combined, they totaled took more than ~26 GW of capacity offline from the grid. Also ~4 GW of wind due to icing. All of our sources had problems.

A combine problem of gas pipes freezing, reduced fuel deliveries and possible frozen cooling water made for a bad outcome. Our power plants are not built for temperatures this low.

The following is a breakdown of what source went offline.

“As of ~10 AM Eastern time [Monday the 15th], the system has ~30 GW of capacity offline, ~26 GW of thermal — mostly natural gas which cant get fuel deliveries which are being priorities for heating loads — and ~4 GW of wind due to icing”. “That is a HUGE amount of gas capacity offline, about 30% of total ERCOT capacity and ~half of the natural gas fleet…devastating for reliability”. This was in addition to gas pipes freezing due to the extreme temperatures.

Wind and solar did not let us down. The wind turbines that did not shut down in fact over-performed on their forecasted output, due to the high wind speeds from the storm.

The one source that performed above expected output, was solar.

Although ERCOT only expected 269 MW of solar during winter peak demand, we may actually get over 3,000 MW at times today. That's more solar than existed in ERCOT two years ago.

Gary Miller

Jim> 12 noon Feb 16. ERCOT admitted they lost most wind and solar productionj due to sleet and ice on solar farms and windmills frozen and inopererable. Those are a smaller part of Texas power generation but the loss has caused extra outages. Backup power plants are having trouble too with power shortages and fuel limits. Most of the backup plants are coal fired.

Emilio Nicolas

Wind turbine claims are FALSE. The turbines are working just fine. There are some "news" outlets using this crisis to knock wind power when the responsibility is elsewhere. Liars and frauds!

Gary Miller

The back up system in most cases is coal fired generators.

James Lippert

Most of Bacliff & San Leon are without power as of 1PM Monday.

Stephanie Martin

Still without power 15 hours in Santa Fe.

Gary Miller

Get ya a couple lbs of wennies, some marshmallos and beer then cut neighbors tree down for fire wood. Invite neighbors to a front yard bonfire. The solar farms won't be generating anything until they get the ice, sleet or snow off the solar panels. Green power requires electricity to get back up coal fired plants up and running.

Marty Fluke

Any updates on when we MAY get power?

johnferguson Staff
John Wayne Ferguson

Hi Marty,

No. I have no idea. There was no apparent change in the situation overnight. We'll ty to get updates as people start waking up.

Jeff Patterson

McGuire Dent Recreational Center 28th and Seawall is a Warming Center, bring a mask

Bailey Jones

Power generation is offline for all types of power - wind, gas, coal, nuclear. Energy companies reduced capacity for the winter and got caught with their generators down. Many generators just froze.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/15/rolling-blackouts-texas/

Mary Branum

Our power out since 1:55 AM Monday morning.

39 degrees in house house this morning! Thank God we have a Victorian gas heater we kept to heat one room! Someone has a lot of explaining to do as this is not the first time there has been a major power outage and it probably won’t be the last. Demand? B S. Lame excuse as we hear the same in summers.

Bailey Jones

Apparently, the midwest is facing a natural gas shortage - now using the Natural Gas Peak Shaving system, a propane-air injection into the natural gas transmission system that helps keep gas pressure up:

https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2021/02/15/springfield-city-utilities-issues-alert-natural-gas-shortage-cold-weather/6750133002/

Meanwhile, northern Mexico is out of gas due to the demand in Texas:

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/natural-gas/021521-natural-gas-shortage-in-texas-causes-blackout-in-northern-mexico

And frozen natural gas wells in Oklahoma and Texas are causing a shortage of available natural gas, leading to an increase of as much as 100 times the typical purchase price (seems like a lot), just since Friday...https://khqa.com/news/local/natural-gas-prices-increase-100-fold-due-to-frozen-wells-in-oklahoma-texas

"In Texas, Wind generation has been more than cut in half to 4.2 gigawatts, while overall power generation is down 34Gw, including nuclear reactors, coal and gas generators.

"Oil production in the Permian Basin has dropped by 1 million barrels a day, helping U.S. crude prices to trade above $60 a barrel for the first time in more than a year. The region’s industrial plants are built to cope with torrid summers rather than arctic weather, and the biggest U.S. oil refinery went offline on Monday, reducing the supply of gasoline and other fuels."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/blackouts-cascade-beyond-texas-in-deepening-power-crisis/2021/02/15/d5a21b16-6f68-11eb-8651-6d3091eac63f_story.html

It sounds like a combination of mechanical problems - machines don't like freezing weather - and a shortage of natural gas. Seems like someone should be calling this a "perfect storm".

Marty Fluke

Texas had 500 bcf in storage so there is no shortage of natural gas.

George Laiacona

It looks like the Movie Star President’s policies have turned around to bite us in the ass! Extensive Lobbying to influence the Republicans back in the 80’s to stop construction of Nuclear Electric Power Plants has come to light. We the gullible Americans have trusted the Fossil Fuel Giants to stay with oil, gas,and coal for our electrical needs. Well the future is here today. We all are paying for the actions of naive greedy Republican Politicians. This may be a wake up call for those in denial that we really need clean, dependable Nuclear Electric Energy. As long as the rich oil companies control our Congressmen logical electricity distribution will not exist. I started in the electrical industry back in 1968.

Jim Forsythe

Why schedule maintenance during the winter months and not wait till there is less chance of bitter cold.

This is what ERCOT does, "they plans for winter to be much warmer and anticipates a lower energy demand. Power providers often schedule downtime and maintenance during the winter months to prepare for the massive annual surge in electricity demand in the hot Texas summer."

ERCOT was overloaded when we reached the peak of 69,000 megawatts. This is a little less than one half of the use in the summer.

"ERCOT has historically been more worried about meeting peak summer demand, which can top 125,000 megawatts as hundreds of thousands of air conditioners switch on to cool during the summer heat."

It's time to spend money and get the system up to date. It's not going to get better because more people are moving to Texas unless changes are made..

“The ERCOT grid has collapsed in exactly the same manner as the old Soviet Union,” Ed Hirs, an energy fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Houston, told the Houston Chronicle. “It limped along on underinvestment and neglect until it finally broke under predictable circumstances.”

Lena Gilley

ERCOT, TNMP, Centerpoint! Must have missed the forecast! I saw it! They should have been prepared! For this horrible life threatening situation! No one wants to take responsibility. !

Jim Forsythe

Multiple deaths related to the historic winter storm have been reported in Galveston County, pending confirmation by the medical examiner's office.

County Judge Mark Henry told Eyewitness News the truck would help increase capacity at the medical examiner's office as residents brace for yet another winter storm.

"We were notified of an emergency request about lunchtime today that the medical examiner needed a capacity of at least 20 and as many as 50, in addition to the normal storage," Henry said.

The judge also said the medical examiner's office covers several counties, so it could take some time to confirm where all the victims lived.

"We believe these (victims) could be Galveston County residents, but we can't confirm that even because they might be from Brazoria County."

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