Re: Beryl - Another Centerpoint Failure
  1. United States
  2. Texas
  3. Letter

Re: Beryl - Another Centerpoint Failure

To: Sen. Cruz, Sen. Cornyn, Rep. Nehls

From: A constituent in Rosenberg, TX

July 11

I am writing in regard to the woeful inadequacy of CenterPoint in preparing for and responding to Hurricane Beryl. Beryl was not an especially strong hurricane and an event like this is predictable in a gulfcoast city like Houston. Residents like me depend on utilities to be prepared during these events. Even with well over 72 hours worth of warning, CenterPoint still refused to stage the workers necessary to be able to promptly restore electricity to millions of customers. After the hurricane passed the city at approximately noon on Monday, July 9, there was a noticeable lack of electric trucks on the roads for repairs. Even worse, it’s clear that CenterPoint employees and contractors did not work overnight to repair power, as evidenced by their own outage counter. CenterPoint lost 12 hours of work ahead of a scorching hot day. On the topic of the outage counter, CenterPoint has no working outage map after taking it down during May’s derecho event, and it was never restored, making it impossible to see which neighborhoods are being serviced and which are not. The fact that the Whataburger store tracker provides more useful data than CenterPoint’s website made national news and is an embarrassment to the city. Most importantly, CenterPoint’s deficient efforts to restore power are putting people with medical conditions in danger of loss of life, as evidenced by the fact that hospitals are now unable to send patients home where they lack power for medical equipment or an appropriately cool environment for their conditions. Small business owners unable to afford business interruption insurance are suffering mounting losses with every passing day. And low income families are losing valuable groceries to spoilage for the second time this year due to CenterPoint’s ineptitude. As a resident of Houston, I am fed up with CenterPoint’s excuses and demand answers, an apology and accountability. CenterPoint is an embarrassment to Houstonians and needs to answer for its mistakes. Management must change and residents must be assured that this never happens again. Utilities like CenterPoint must be forced to invest in infrastructure and ensure that adequate personnel are ready to begin work to restore power as soon as possible after events like these. Management must pay for its mistakes and improvements must be made. The fourth largest city and the energy capital of the world cannot allow one of its most critical utilities to continue to fail residents in this way. It is shameful. As your constituent, I demand that you use the powers of your office to hold CenterPoint accountable for its gross incompetence.

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