State Rep. James White: ‘Outages are a multi-county problem’

State Rep. James White: ‘Outages are a multi-county problem’
Source: Raycom News Media

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - An East Texas state representative confirmed Friday afternoon that power is out in multiple counties in East Texas, but they are hopeful everything will be restored by tonight.

"What people need to know is that Entergy has located the problem, and they are already working to get these back on," said District 19 State Rep. James White. "Buna, and other portions of the county are already restored, but we know this is a multi-county problem that will hopefully be fixed by nightfall."

White said that power lines down in water-logged areas are posing a problem to getting power restored, but they are working in a safe manner to ensure it is back on as quickly as possible for residents.

The Jasper County Sheriff Office confirms power has been out county-wide beginning at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday night.

"It appears the power is out from Jasper all the way to Silsbee, and we are still searching for the reason why," Chief Deputy Glen Blank said Thursday. "We are working to find the reason, but until then, we're asking residents to stay aware and off the roads until it's fixed."

An approximate 1,000 evacuees were originally traveling to Jasper County for shelter. Due to the shelters having no electricity, they will now be going to  Nacogdoches shelters.

Angelina County Emergency Management Coordinator Ricky Conner said they have identified which shelters they will use in the Nacogdoches area, but they're not going to announce those locations at this time.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the northern part of their county has been without power as well. There was no confirmation on whether it had been restored as of Friday. Officials said the city of Corrigan was affected by the outage.

As of Friday afternoon, the San Augustine County Sheriff's Office said that they have not heard recent reports of outages.

A press release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth district office stated that they started power generation for critical infrastructure needs for Southeast Texas Friday afternoon.

"Due to the after effects of Hurricane Harvey in East Texas and Southeast Texas, the electric grids were overloaded, causing them to go off line," the press release stated. "Generating this power will allow local hospitals, emergency operations centers, and evacuation centers to regain power and reduce reliance on portable generators."

The Army Corps of Engineers press release stated that because of Hurricane Harvey's landfall and projected track, all water releases, including hydro power were lessened on Monday.

"Planned power generation will result in an output of 25 megawatts per day, which is a release of approximately 4,500 cubic feet per second," the press release stated. "This flow rate will have a negligible effect on downstream conditions and will provide for the foreseeable future stability to the power grid."

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