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Frustrations peak with rolling blackout plan as AEP points the finger towards ERCOT

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Posted at 7:21 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 20:23:12-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Frustrations are mounting not just across the Coastal Bend, but the entire state. People want answers as to why their electricity hasn’t come back on and why they fall into an area that is a part of the rolling blackout. AEP said initially they were instructed to conduct rolling blackouts to manage the supply and demand of energy.

An Annaville man said his home has been without power for three days. It comes on for a few hours and then off again much longer.

"Last night, sat down and heated a bowl of soup," said Donovan Villreal. "And right when I took my first bite, the lights went out again. So, I had flashlight dinner."

Villreal said he wants someone held accountable for the situation. He feels his neighborhood is singled out like this in all blackout situations.

In Alice, one family without power has moved into their backyard in the RV, but they aren’t sure how long they can do that.

"I’m thinking about leaving and going to Louisiana who has less power outages," Angela Hernandez said. "Or trekking back to where I’m from in Missouri because they have no power outages despite -17 degree temperatures and 10 inches of snow last week."

Hernandez said although she's looking out for her family, she's concerned with the area elderly and children. She doesn't believe cramming in a civic center while COVID-19 is prevalent is a helpful idea.

In a statement, AEP said they changed the rolling blackout plan. Their rotating outages have been focused on getting power to critical services. They said there was no significant damage from winter storms for them. So, they just wait for the okay to go back to normal, from ERCOT.

State Rep. Todd Hunter responded to the situation.

"enough’s enough," said Hunter. "It has been miserable ,it’s been awful. And this group needs to answer the questions on why people have been out of power and put in an unsafe unhealthy situation."

Hunter said on Feb. 25, ERCOT is to appear in front of the legislature to answer questions.

The Austin Statesmen reported that five people on ERCOT's Board of Director’s don’t list Texas as their home state.