Austin, TX

Austin, Tx Still Has Power Outages Five Days After Ice Storm

Carol Lennox
Image of power outages on day five after ice storm.Photo byAustin Energy

While Austin Energy reports having restored 91% of customers with power outages over the five days since an ice storm caused outages early Wednesday morning February 1, 2023, thousands are still without power.

Among them are an entire half of the Northland Corporation apartment complex on Monterey Oaks Blvd. Directly across the street, full power is restored to another Northland complex. Half of the Park at Monterey Oaks, across a small water preservation ravine from the side with no power, had power restored quickly.

Frustration among residents is mounting every day and night the power is out. One resident, who is from a small village in India wrote on the neighborhood WhatsApp that was begun during the 2021 snow storm,

"I am a village kid. Our village is in an earthquake prone zone We get floods. We get extreme summers and winters in parts of our state. I have never gone a day without power in that village. We have had power outages of course. Frequent outages for an hour or so. But never day or week long outages like I've experienced here."

The Austin mayor's office stated that tree trimming was stopped in Austin a few years ago, and only started back two years ago when Austin went through a similar crisis of power outages after snow and a freeze. That leaves the city three years behind on trimming branches and trees over power lines.

Austin Energy validates that the outages are primarily caused by fallen trees and branches on power lines when weighed down by ice. Trees must be removed before power is restored. Then, when power is restored, fuses could still blow from surges.

This is what apparently happened at the Park at Monterey Oaks complex. Power was briefly restored Friday afternoon for a few minutes. According to witness Nabil Yazdani, who was conversing with the workers as they finished, the fuse blew shortly after the Austin Energy workers left.

Yazdani is the person who started the WhatsApp group in 2021 to help the apartment residents provide help and moral support for one another. Those residents became a community through the hardships they endured together, providing whatever they had to help each other. Northland Corporation and the city of Austin were not able or willing to provide for resident's needs during that time.

Once again, the residents are joining together to make sure everyone in the complex is staying healthy and as warm as is possible. Ones with power are offering places to sleep and hot showers to those without. However, there are not enough neighbors with power to provide for the needs of the hundreds who live on the half without.

As of this writing, the complex, and other sections of South Austin are still without power for the fifth day. Two years ago, the same complex was without power for 6 days and water for 7 days.

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My purpose is to inspire and inform. You can read more by me on, and on the Good Men Project. I've had a lifetime of valuable experiences, and I want to share the lessons I've learned readily, or been forced to learn. I'm a psychotherapist, a hypnotherapist, a mother to my amazing son, Blake Scott, whom I write about often. I also write about race, equality, social justice, sex, government, and Mindfulness, not in that order.

Austin, TX

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