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The original item was published from 2/15/2021 3:36:58 PM to 2/15/2021 3:38:59 PM.

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County News

Posted on: February 15, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Denton County closing facilities due to ERCOT emergency status

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Denton County is closing all facilities on Tuesday due to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) emergency status during the ongoing winter storm.

At 1:25 a.m. Tuesday, ERCOT initiated rotating outages due to emergency conditions statewide. Extreme weather conditions caused many generating units to trip offline and become unavailable.  An estimated 30,000 MW of generation was forced off the system. Rotating outages could last until the weather emergency ends. 

In addition, some electric utility companies are experiencing a limited ability to rotate power outages due to system stability. Some areas have lost power due to equipment failures and are currently working to restore power to affected residents. 

All Denton County employees who can work from home are doing so. In addition, Road and Bridge employees are continuing to monitor road conditions throughout the winter storm.

“We are following ERCOT recommendations to limit our use of electricity to help support the statewide electrical infrastructure on behalf of our residents,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads. 

In addition, the Tuesday meeting of the Denton County Commissioners Court will be delayed until 10 a.m. on Friday. 

“We ask that all entities, public and private, consider following this same practice to limit the use of electricity in our region,” Judge Eads said. 

Residents who are at home should limit their electrical usage when possible by unplugging appliance not currently in use and limiting use of large appliances. Guidelines are to set thermometers at 68 degrees or less and dress warmly with extra layers. 

If residents are currently experiencing an outage, it is best to stay at home for as long as possible. Follow these guidelines for reducing heat loss:

  • Keep curtains closed to reduce heat loss through windows
  • If power outage is prolonged, move all family activities into one room and keep interior doors shut to retain heat.
  • Put on additional layers of clothing including gloves and a hat.
  • Roll up a towel and place it at the base of exterior doors.
  • A portable heater can be used if it is indoor-safe and a window is kept open.
  • A gas fireplace equipped with batter backup for the ignition can be used when there is no electricity.
  • For wood-burning fireplaces, conserve wood by using the fireplace intermittently. Keep all flammable items away from the fireplace. 

“I know that we will all work together to ensure everyone’s safety during this time of emergency,” Judge Eads said. “We are #DentonCountyStrong.”

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