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CenterPoint Energy continues to make significant progress restoring power following Hurricane Nicholas

Houston – Sept. 15, 2021 – CenterPoint Energy continues to make significant progress restoring power in the Greater Houston area and surrounding communities following Hurricane Nicholas' impact earlier this week.

"We have made excellent progress so far safely restoring service to our customers who were impacted by Hurricane Nicholas, and our crews continue to work diligently and around-the-clock to address all remaining outages as safely and quickly as possible," said Kenny Mercado, Executive Vice President, Electric Utility, CenterPoint Energy. "We appreciate our customers' continued patience and understanding as we work to address the more challenging outage issues caused by the storm's extensive damage to some parts of our system."  

The company has restored service to more than 380,000 electric customers, down from a peak outage count of 460,000 at 8 a.m. CT on Sept. 14. At this time, CenterPoint Energy is down to less than 80,000 customers without power.

CenterPoint Energy electric system assessments will be completed today, and the company expects its customer outage numbers to continue to decline. CenterPoint Energy said that it expects to have the majority of the remaining customer outages restored by the end of the day. Isolated outages should be addressed by the end of this week.

In addition, mutual assistance crews will be assisting with the restoration process today.

The company noted that Hurricane Nicholas may have caused damage to customer-owned equipment, such as their meter box or weatherhead – the point where the line enters the home through a pipe. In those cases, customers will need to contact a qualified electrician to make sure the damage is repaired before the company is able to restore service to them. 

CenterPoint Energy urges customers to always stay at least 10 feet away from downed power lines and report them to the company at 713-207-2222. For latest information on power outages*:


*Please note that some outage notifications may be delayed. Due to the ongoing system assessment of damage caused by Hurricane Nicholas, estimated restoration times on Outage Tracker and Power Alert Service are not being provided at this time.

The company's natural gas system is performing well and we are continuing to address natural gas issues found during our system assessments," said Scott Doyle, Executive Vice President, Natural Gas. "Our natural gas crews will transition to assist with power restoration efforts as needed."

2021-09-15T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy assessing damage, beginning to restore service following Hurricane Nicholas

Houston – Sept. 14, 2021 – In response to Hurricane Nicholas' impact on its electric and natural gas systems in Greater Houston and surrounding communities, CenterPoint Energy has issued the following update:

As of 7:30 a.m. CT, there are approximately 440,000 customers without power. The storm intensified overnight with strong sustained winds that exceeded more than 75 miles per hour and gusts over 90 miles per hour, resulting in widespread outages throughout CenterPoint Energy's service area. The most significant impact has been on the company's southern, central and eastern service areas.

  • Keep phone lines open for electric and natural gas emergency calls only
  • Estimated electric restoration times will be provided once assessments are completed
  • Natural gas system in Houston area is functioning normally
  • Gas Operations crews have begun system assessment where the storm has passed

CenterPoint Energy's crews have begun their damage assessment and service restoration process. The restoration process begins with facilities vital to safety, health and welfare, such as hospitals, water treatment plants and public service facilities. After key facilities, the company follows its priority restoration process by making repairs to electrical facilities that will return power to the largest number of customers first, then continue the restoration process by prioritizing repairs to benefit the greatest number of customers, until power is returned to everyone.

"We are committed to restoring service to our customers as safely and quickly as possible. However, patience will be important as some areas of our system and equipment may be difficult to reach for our crews due to safety-related issues, such as downed trees," said Kenny Mercado, Executive Vice President, Electric Utility of CenterPoint Energy. "Customers do not need to call us to report outages, our smart meters tell us which customers are out. We ask that everyone to please keep phone lines open for electric or natural gas emergency calls only."

In addition, CenterPoint Energy is part of electric utility mutual assistance programs that provide access to thousands of linemen and tree trimmers from around the country to support restoration efforts during widespread power outage emergencies. The company has requested mutual assistance crews to assist with restoration efforts and is prepared to activate four or more staging sites across Houston.

Scott Doyle, Executive Vice President, Natural Gas, said, "Our natural gas distribution system in the Greater Houston area is functioning normally; however, crews are responding to natural gas leak calls primarily due to toppled trees which have uprooted gas lines.

"Customers need to call us if they smell natural gas or see a damaged line," he added. "Gas Operations crews have begun system assessment system where the storm has passed and it's safe to do so."

For latest information on power outages*:

*Please note that some outage notifications may be delayed. Due to the unpredictable nature of Hurricane Nicholas, estimated restoration times on Outage Tracker and Power Alert Service are not being provided at this time.

The company urges the public to follow these important electric and natural gas safety tips:

Electric  

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Be especially mindful of downed lines that could be hidden in flood waters and treat all downed lines as if they are energized.   
  • If you experience flooding and water has risen above the electrical outlets in your home, contact a licensed electrician before turning on the main circuit breaker or trying to restore power.   
  • All electrical appliances and electronic equipment that have been submerged in water need to dry thoroughly for at least one week. Then, have them checked by a qualified repair person before turning them on. Attempting to repair a flood-damaged appliance could result in electrical shock or death. Attempting to restart it could result in further damage and costly repairs.  
  • If the outside unit of an air conditioning system has been under water, mud and water may have accumulated in the controls. Have the unit checked by a qualified air conditioning technician.  

Natural Gas  

  • Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines.  
  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately and tell others to leave, too.  
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.  
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 911 and CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786 and the company will send a trained service technician.
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.
2021-09-14T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy ramps up preparations for Tropical Storm Nicholas impacting its service territory

Houston – Sept. 13, 2021 – CenterPoint Energy continues to monitor weather conditions and prepare for the impact of Tropical Storm Nicholas across the Greater Houston area and surrounding communities. The company has completed systems readiness assessments and thousands of electric and natural gas employees and contractors are ready to respond to the potential impact of flooding caused by the storm.

"The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority, and we have plans in place to respond to this event," said Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint Energy's Executive Vice President, Electric Utility. "The biggest threat continues to be flooding. As always with severe weather, we encourage our customers to prepare to be without power and have an emergency plan in place, especially those who depend on electricity for life-sustaining equipment.

"We have personnel, resources and equipment ready to restore electricity to our customers as soon as it is safe to do so. Our Electric Operations mutual assistance crews that were helping in Louisiana have all returned to Houston to assist with the company's response."

More than 3,200 electric crews, including distribution, transmission, substation, underground, tree trimmers and damage assessors, will be working 16-hour shifts to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. The company has also prepared its substations by closing flood gates and moving equipment and materials to higher grounds. 

Mercado added, "Our crews may be facing some hazardous road conditions, so we ask for our customers' patience while we work to restore their service."

In addition, CenterPoint Energy is part of electric utility mutual assistance programs that provide access to thousands of linemen and tree trimmers from around the country to support restoration efforts during widespread power outage emergencies. The company is in close contact with mutual assistance partners in the event additional crews are needed.

CenterPoint Energy is also prepared to meet customers' natural gas demands across its service territory. "We are ready to respond to potential impact to our system caused by the storm," said Scott Doyle, CenterPoint Energy's Executive Vice President, Natural Gas. "As a multi-state natural gas utility, all of Gas Operations technicians and crews in the non-impacted areas are on standby ready to respond, as well as logistics and material support ready to address any restoration efforts required." 

Doyle added, "Our response plans include the use of the company's advanced leak detection equipment that will allow us to quickly assess any damages after the storm passes, focusing our restoration efforts where needed."

We continue to urge customers to prepare and follow important electric and natural gas safety tips.  

Electric  

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Be especially mindful of downed lines that could be hidden in flood waters and treat all downed lines as if they are energized.   
  • If you experience flooding and water has risen above the electrical outlets in your home, contact a licensed electrician before turning on the main circuit breaker or trying to restore power.   
  • All electrical appliances and electronic equipment that have been submerged in water need to dry thoroughly for at least one week. Then, have them checked by a qualified repair person before turning them on. Attempting to repair a flood-damaged appliance could result in electrical shock or death. Attempting to restart it could result in further damage and costly repairs.  
  • If the outside unit of an air conditioning system has been under water, mud and water may have accumulated in the controls. Have the unit checked by a qualified air conditioning technician.    

Natural Gas

  • Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines.  
  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately and tell others to leave, too.  
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.  
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 911 and CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786 and the company will send a trained service technician.  
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.  
  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.

For the latest information on power outages:  

As the only investor owned electric and gas utility based in Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with electric transmission and distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution operations that serve more than 7 million metered customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. As of June 30, 2021, the company owned approximately $36 billion in assets and also owned 53.7 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership that owns, operates and develops strategically located natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With approximately 9,500 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

2021-09-13T05:00:00Z

 

 

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