February 15, 2021

What You Need To Know About Rotating Outages – FAQs

1. How long are planned outages lasting? And how frequently are people experiencing them?

These rotating outages are staged at intervals of approximately 30 minutes at this time. Frequency can change due to load reduction requirements set by ERCOT and MISO.  MidSouth has no control over the load reduction requirements but we are doing our part to help the power supply operators stabilize the grid. 

2. Are there any other major outages that are caused by something else (i.e. ice breaking lines, car crash causing hitting a pole, etc.) or are most/all of the outages due to the rolling outages? If there are other outages not part of the rotating planned outages, where are they and when will they be fixed?

During a winter event, outages not associated with load reduction are typically caused by ice accumulation on equipment or vegetation falling due on lines to ice/snow buildup. When or if that happens, a crew is assigned, and they respond and quickly and safely as possible. The effort from every entity involved in keeping the power flowing for Texans is nothing short of monumental. This really is a group effort from the power supply operators to the consumers of electricity and everyone in-between.

3. Have there been any major power problems that you are working with? 

MidSouth is an electric distribution cooperative that delivers power to over 34,000 meters. Other than the rolling outages required by ERCOT and MISO, the weather conditions create ice accumulation on the power lines and vegetation which can cause power outages.

4. What should customers do if they have an outage? Is there a certain time frame within which they need to call and report an outage, or should they always assume it is a rotating outage?

These rotating outages are staged at intervals of approximately 30 minutes at this time. We do not determine when the controlled outage requirements will conclude. We will continue to conduct the controlled outages until ERCOT or MISO notifies us to cease. We systematically go circuit by circuit across the entire system. Once we have gone through a complete cycle of our system, the controlled outage process will start over at the first circuits that were curtailed. If a member experiences an outage longer than 45 minutes they should report it by phone 936-825-5100 or text the word OUTAGE to 352-667.

5. How is staffing? Strained? People on standby?

MidSouth maintains a strategic plan to keep key personnel in place to cover all task at the cooperative. Linemen, dispatchers, and member service representatives all maintain a rotation to ensure we can accommodate the need. Contractors are on standby, as well, to help with power restoration and right of way clearing, if needed.

6. Do you have any words to community members about the situation and what to expect or what to do?

It is incredibly important that the community take load reduction request seriously and do everything possible to conserve power. The fundamental fact is that this situation could last for several days and the focus is to avoid grid failure which could cause a total grid black out and take several more days to recover from.

7. I am a little confused at the fact that the map says “out now” and “affected” both with 2248 people. But then says only 5 outages. Can you please break down for me what this all means? http://outage.midsouthsynergy.com:81/#

Rolling outages create an unusual scenario when reviewing our outage map. An outage is a specific area of members out of power. Affected is how many were initially out of power when the outage started. Out Now will show the difference between how many meters were re-energized and how many are still out of power. Given the extreme circumstances the best way to review the outage map is to make sure the line includes your home if you are out of power. If you are unsure always report the outage by phone 936-825-5100 or text the word OUTAGE to 352-667.

8.What if I have pipes or equipment damaged by the extreme cold?
During unprecedented extreme weather conditions contact your homeowners or renters insurance company for assistance reporting and repairing any damages. If you do not have insurance and sustained damage resulting from the cold weather the week of February 15th, 2021 contact FEMA. Keep all of your repair receipts, photos and apply for FEMA assistance.
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