ERCOT: Rolling Blackouts 'Likely'

Newschannel 6 has continuing coverage now on that pressure on the power grid.

Major industrial plants in Texas are shutting down power to try and ease the stress on the state's power grid. If it does not cut down on enough energy the Electric Reliability Council will be forced to implement rolling blackouts.

All week ERCOT has asked each one of us to conserve energy and every day this week peak demands have set new record highs.

Mike Nieto, with ONCOR, tells Newschannel 6 that Wednesday's power outage in Barnett is not directly connected to the stress  on the state power grid. It actually might be linked to the drought, an underground cable failed.

Nieto says it could be because the soil is so dry.

3,550 customers were left in the dark without electricity last night and in this heat the last thing anyone would want to experience is not having an AC.

Ron and Sharon Chandler, were affected by Wednesday's power outage and say, "This is severe hot weather and I think it kind of caught everybody by surprise, but unfortunately some people don't like to admit it."

And unfortunately Texomans might be dealing with more power outages very soon, but this time it would not be an accident. ERCOT is saying if record high temperatures continue, planned power outages can happen by next week. Texomans concerns are growing.

Ron and Sharon comment, "Our biggest concern is the elderly. They are past those years and they can't handle hot weather, even normal weather. It's harder for them so you have to be concerned about those people."

But if Wednesday was a taste of what's to come some residents might not be able to handle the heat.

Other residents also affected by the power outage are trying to stay positive. Positive enough to start planning ahead for worst case scenario.

ONCOR is still investigating what exactly caused the underground cable failure. Newschannel 6 has also received calls about people without power Thursday. ONCOR reports less than 50 were without AC on Thursday.

Mike Nieto with ONCOR urges everyone in the area must conserve energy due to the extreme load on the grid.

ERCOT is still advising the public to conserve energy during peak hours between 3 and 7 p.m. each day.

If we do not cut back ERCOT says rolling outages could start next week. If rolling residential outages do occur they could last up to 45 minutes.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6