¡Que Onda Magazine!

Houston's oldest bilingual publication

‘CenterPointless’ graffiti on I-10 sums up customers’ feelings with over 1M still without power

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Over a million Houston-area CenterPoint Energy customers are still without power, three long and hot days since Hurricane Beryl slammed the area.

Many southeast Texas residents say they have lost their faith in CenterPoint, the primary energy provider for the region. On Wednesday, a mural popped up on the side of I-10 at Sawyer that says “CenterPointless.” That pretty much sums up how many people feel, not about the linemen working out in the elements to get the power back on, but about the system leading to the massive outage.

FIND A COOLING CENTER NEAR YOU: Hurricane Beryl victim assistance: Help with food, shelter and other services

According to CenterPoint’s Outage Tracker, 1.1 million customers were still in the dark on Thursay morning, and over 1.1 million customers had been restored since the storm. CenterPoint declared that, with 2.26 million customers impacted, this is the largest outage in the company’s history.

Customers can check the company’s online Restoration Map to get an idea of the repair progress in their neighborhood.

The map highlights the Greater Houston area in three colors — dark green, light green, blue, and orange. According to CenterPoint:

  • Green means power is back, though isolated outages to individual homes could remain
  • Light green means power is back, but with potential nested outages
  • Blue means crews have been assigned to restore the power and work is being done
  • Orange means CenterPoint is still assessing damage

CenterPoint is estimating 400,000 more customers will have their power restoredby Friday night, and another 350,000 will have their power restored by Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the remaining 400,000 will be in the dark past Sunday — a week after the category 1 storm blasted the area.

In the aftermath of the storm, many people are asking questions about how CenterPoint prepared for the storm.

READ MORE: 13 Investigates: CenterPoint admits ‘clearly more needs to be done’

In an interview with 13 Investigates, CenterPoint Energy admits not enough resiliency work was done heading into Hurricane Beryl.

The company’s executive vice president, Jason Ryan, sat down with 13 Investigates’ Kevin Ozebek — sharing details about their “resiliency” plan, which is aimed at making badly-needed upgrades.

From 2025 to 2027, CenterPoint wants to spend a whopping $376 million to harden its transmission system.

Much of that money would be used to replace old wooden power poles with stronger poles made out of materials like concrete, which are more likely to withstand hurricanes.

Another $268 million would be used to upgrade larger power towers to sturdier models.

Then, $31 million would move some above ground lines to under our highways.

“Will this truly prepare our electric infrastructure for the storms of the future?” Kevin asked. “Yes. We’re confident it will,” Ryan said.

“How can you say with confidence this is enough?” Kevin asked. “We’ve seen those poles stand up in these extreme events, both the strong category 2 equivalent hurricane of the derecho and this strong category 1 storm that just hit 48 hours ago. We’ve seen those poles perform,” Ryan said.

In total, the plan adds up to $1.45 billion. Ryan said CenterPoint is applying for federal grants to help pay for it.

While CenterPoint supplies most of the energy to the Houston area, there are also a few other providers.

Entergy is giving specifics on its own restorations efforts. It released a detailed timeline showing when people living in certain areas should expect to get their power back.

For example, people in New Caney and Conroe should get their power back by Sunday. People in Bolivar Peninsula and Huntsville should get their power back by Friday.

Entergy says it has restored power to more than half of the 252,000 customers who lost power during Beryl.