HOUSTON - As Hurricane Nicholas moves across the Houston-area into Tuesday, the first item most residents will be the most concerned about is power and gas lines.
Here's some information to get your outage reported to the power company.
ERCOT is asking customers to contact their local electric service providers to report outages and receive updates on restoration times.
To report your outage, you can contact the following:
CenterPoint Energy: 1-800-332-7143
POWER TIPS DURING/FOLLOWING THE STORM
Centerpoint Energy has the following tips for residential and business customers:
· Stay away from downed power lines. Be especially mindful of downed lines that could be hidden in flood waters and treat all downed lines as if they are energized.
· If you experience flooding and water has risen above the electrical outlets in your home, contact a licensed electrician before turning on the main circuit breaker or trying to restore power.
· All electrical appliances and electronic equipment that have been submerged in water need to dry thoroughly for at least one week. Then, have them checked by a qualified repair person before turning them on. Attempting to repair a flood-damaged appliance could result in electrical shock or death. Attempting to restart it could result in further damage and costly repairs.
· If the outside unit of an air conditioning system has been under water, mud and water may have accumulated in the controls. Have the unit checked by a qualified air conditioning technician.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced they have acted to reduce planned maintenance-related outages in the area most likely to be affected by Nicholas and instructed power companies to implement their emergency procedures in preparation for the storm.
Residents and businesses experiencing power outages should contact their local electric service providers to report those outages and receive updates on restoration times.
TIPS FOR NATURAL GAS LINES
Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines.
· Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately and tell others to leave, too.
· If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
· Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 911 and CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786 and the company will send a trained service technician.
· If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
· Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
· Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.