Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas this past Friday, Aug. 25, is the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005, ending a record 12-year period with no major hurricanes making landfall in the United States. It joined 2016's Matthew as one of only two U.S. hurricanes to cause an extreme wind warning to be issued, indicating "tornado-like winds" within the storm including isolated tornadoes. CenterPoint Energy was one of the electric utilities dealing with the aftermath of the flooding and tornadoes.
Through CenterPoint Energy's comprehensive emergency response plan and the technology it has installed on its grid that serves more than 2.4 million customers, the utility has restored power to more than 580,000 customers since Harvey began impacting its service territory on Friday, Aug. 25, including more than 204,000 in the last 24 hours, meaning 96 percent of CenterPoint Energy customers have power.
In addition to its own 2500 crew members, it has called in several hundred additional mutual assistance resources to support its efforts. More than 70 additional crews arrived Monday, and more than 100 additional crews were on their way. With the external resources already brought in, CenterPoint Energy’s total mutual assistance resources will total more than 800.
"Besides safety messages the primary message we have been trying to spread is that you don't need to call us, in fact we would prefer you don't call so that the phone lines are open for those with emergencies," said Gina Weber, program manager at CenterPoint Energy. "From a customer service perspective, our Power Alert Service is delivering messages to customers as expected. We notify them by their preferred channel (email, text, phone call) that their power is out, when a crew is onsite assessing, and when their power is restored."