Hurricane Laura Bypassed Houston But Still Knocked Out the Power

Rotating blackouts hit more than 100,000 Houston-area homes and businesses after Hurricane Laura badly damaged transmission lines more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) away from the fourth-largest U.S. city.

Utility Entergy Corp. reported nearly 104,000 customers were without power in suburban Montgomery County, just north of Houston. About 12,000 were without power in adjacent Liberty County as temperatures climbed past 95 Fahrenheit (35 Celsius).

Houston avoided a direct hit from Laura, which plowed ashore along the Louisiana-Texas border early Thursday. But the Category 4 storm caused extensive damage to transmission lines and towers that bring Houston power from the east, an Entergy spokesman said by email. He said it was too soon to know when the rolling outages would end.

Entergy started cutting power on the direction of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which manages the electrical grid in a portion of eastern Texas, according to a statement. The company called the periodic outages a “last resort” necessary to prevent a more extensive and prolonged outage in the area.

More than 280,000 Texas homes and businesses remain without power following the storm, according to utility websites. In Louisiana, about 570,000 customers have lost electricity.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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