Winter storm forces travel advisories, stresses power grid


Update: This story has been updated to include new information.

Winter storm conditions have led both cities of Nixon and Gonzales to issue travel advisories.

Statewide, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has announced that rolling blackouts will be used to reduce demand for electricity until the state's capacity to produce it can be restored.

These rotating outages began at 1:25 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 15, and are expected to be conducted at 15 to 45-minute increments, with two to three hours in between. 

If you experience a power outage that lasts longer than 45 minutes, you can report it viat TextPower. Text "OUT" to 800-223-4832. That number may also be called to report an outage.

In Gonzales, a travel advisory issued Sunday, Feb. 14 asks residents to limit travel through 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15. Nixon's travel advisory asks residents to limit their travel through the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 16. 

There are a handful of ways to conserve energy, according to ERCOT, to reduce strain on the statewide power grid which include:

  • Turn down thermostats to 68-degrees.
  • Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).
  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.

Additionally, Gonzales City Manager Tim Patek has asked that residents remember to drip their faucets to avoid allowing the water line to freeze.

"Please remember to drip your facets so your water line does not freeze," Patek said. "Also, please try to conserve energy for the next few days by setting your thermostate to 68 degrees and not use any appliances or unnecessary power to help prevent power outages within the city."

In Nixon, City Manager Harold Rice has also asked residents to forego the use of appliances like washing machines.

"The City of Nixon is issuing a travel advisory beginning immediately thru Tuesday morning," Rice wrote. "We are reporting bridges that are in the city and outskirts are beginning to form ice. The city is also asking for citizens not to wash their clothes during these freezing temperatures. This will reduce the amount of water used. Power outages could be possible as well. If you are experiencing water issue please contact the City of Nixon standby phone at (830) 857-5247."

Trash pickup for Monday, Feb. 15, has been canceled in areas  serviced by Frontier Waste Solutions.

Has your power gone out? Are you experiencing weather-related frustrations during this unprecedented winter storm? Reach out to reporter Brooke Sjoberg at