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ERCOT Ends Rolling Power Outages & Midday Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has ordered an end to the rolling electrical outages.

Dallas television station WFAA reports that the agency that supervises electrical power distribution in Texas has halted the blackouts which began Wednesday morning, a day after an ice and snow storm blanketed parts of Texas.

Consumers and businesses were being urged to reduce their electricity use.

The ERCOT region includes Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, Abilene and the Rio Grande Valley. ERCOT manages the flow of electricity to about 22 million Texas customers.

Rotating outages are defined as "controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service, typically lasting 10-45 minutes per neighborhood."

Lt. Gov.: Burst water pipes led to power outages

Burst water pipes at two coal-fired power plants forced them to shut down, triggering rolling power cuts across the state, the lieutenant governor said Wednesday.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said this is something that "should not happen."

Dewhurst said he was told that water pipes at two plants, Oak Grove and Sand Hill, forced them to cut electricity production. Natural gas power plants that should have provided back up had difficulty starting due to low pressure in the supply lines, also caused by the cold weather.

The lieutenant governor said the demand placed on the Texas grid was nowhere near peak capacity. He said he was frustrated by the situation.

The statewide electricity authority ordered cities across the state to start rolling power outages to cope with the crisis.

Texas schools recover from power outages

Children at some schools across Texas faced being in the dark during rotating electrical outages ordered by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Dallas and Fort Worth school districts already had canceled classes Wednesday, prior to the ERCOT announcement.

Classes were continuing as scheduled Wednesday in the Houston Independent School District, the state's largest with more than 200,000 students.

Some campuses had sporadic power outages. HISD spokesman Norm Uhl says Houston schools were not closed.

The National Weather Service says temperatures were in the teens early Wednesday in Houston.

Brrr! Packers, Steelers move practices indoors

The Green Bay Packers are moving their Super Bowl practices indoors because of snow, ice and freezing temperatures.

The Packers were scheduled to practice outdoors at SMU but instead are shifting to a local high school that has an enclosed facility.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy says Wednesday he's not concerned about the change.

Green Bay's opponent in Sunday's Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers, have also gone to their backup plan because of the weather. They're practicing indoors at TCU.

The Packers will work out at Highland Park High School, where Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford played.

The Dallas Cowboys are one of 10 NFL teams without an indoor practice facility.