Super Bowl XLV and Texas Power Outages
By Michael McGehee at Feb 02, 2011
People throughout the state of Texas are experiencing periodical rolling blackouts. Oncor, the largest energy provider in Texas, has been telling the local television stations that due to the massive winter storm that has hit much of the country this past few days there is not enough energy to meet everyone’s needs. But it looks like the blackouts have more to do with ensuring there is enough electricity to satisfy Super Bowl XLV.
I woke up shortly after our first blackout and the temperature inside the house was climbing up from 66°. I woke my wife up saying, “The power was out.” Yesterday we stayed home because of the winter storm. Amy tried going in to work but was unable to so she has been working from home and since the girl’s school have closed I have had to stay home to watch them. We turned on the television this morning and that’s when we started hearing about the rolling blackouts. An Oncor representative told channel 8 that the blackouts would be no more than 15 to 20 minutes. Shortly after saying this, the news station reported that they have taken many calls from residents across that Metroplex that this isn’t true. Many have been without electricity for one to two hours or more. Families huddled together under several layers of blankets trying to stay warm. After incidents like this was reported Oncor said this is probably due to other power issues and provided a phone number for people to call to report other issues. It wasn’t long after this that channel 8 began reporting complaints from residents that these extended power outages are more wide spread and that the telephone number provided gives folks the run around with no ability to report their problems. They say they are unable to reach a live person. I was pleased to hear the news anchors call Oncor out by saying they “need to step up.”
With temperatures currently—I am writing this around —around 12° and a wind chill below zero, and with roads unsafe to use, and many workers like myself having to stay in, and most schools and daycares closed families are finding themselves freezing in their own homes.
My wife’s grandmother just recently experienced one of these blackouts around 8:00 am (this was her second blackout). It triggered her alarm system, which went off and when the
. . . I hate to interrupt my own blog post but it’s and the power just went out. We are at my wife’s grandmothers. We left out home because the power went out again, and now the power is out here, which had a power outage only three hours ago.
Anyway, the Super Bowl has taken over not only the Metroplex but the entire state. So far the local news stations are not reporting that homes and business going without electricity—which is necessary to have heat—so as not to interrupt the Super Bowl by the inconveniences the rest of us are enduring. All week long there are events going on at Jerry World. Think about all the energy that is needed to accomodate this and the other events throughout the Metroplex. One estimate is that all the events from the Dallas Convention Center to the media events at Cowboys Stadium to hotel costs and transportation (though I am not sure if it includes the ESPN setup in downtown Fort Worth) will be the equivalent of what one home could use for 1,500 years, or 1,500 homes for a year!
It seems the NFL and Jerry Jones has said about Texans: “Let them eat cake!”
If you’re a Texan and are reading this then you are lucky to have electricity right now. We need to do what we can to get the media to report that we are going without to accommodate the energy-slurping going on called Super Bowl XLV.
Since the power is out here we are going to try our luck at my wife’s mom’s home. She is working remote and finding it hard to get work done with the power outages. Hopefully I can publish this when we get there.
Trying to stay warm in
PS: If it gets bad enough perhaps I will take my family to Jerry World since apparently they are not experiencing the same problems . . .
PS: It’s and the electricity has come back on. My wife went to her mothers but the kids and I stayed at her grandmothers. I am going to publish this now.
PS: I just found this article on WFAA, channel 8: Planned outages won't affect site of Super Bowl