East Texas still without power after swath of summer storms

More than 100,000 homes and businesses in East Texas are still without power amid a massive heat wave after severe storms hit early Friday morning. Via the Texas Tribune:

An enhanced Fujita-1 tornado measuring half a mile across caused severe damage to homes in Panola County in eastern Texas on Friday before moving northwest into Louisiana. The tornado had winds of up to 110 mph with a path length of 7.78 miles, according to National Weather Service estimates.

A few more severe thunderstorms swept through East Texas over the weekend with lightning, wind damage and hail.

The tornado and subsequent storms caused significant damage to the grid provider’s transmission system, a backbone of the power distribution network. Transmission lines, which provide electricity from power plants, are out of service due to tree damage. Electric poles and distribution wires are also down.

Of the 110,000 Texas households and businesses without power, the majority were customers of grid provider Southwestern Electric Power Company, according to PowerOutage.us. Southwestern Electric Power Company is independent of the Texas power grid, known as ERCOT. East Texas—along with the Upper Panhandle and El Paso—are on separate power grids due to their remoteness and history as utility territories.

If Texas was connected to national power grids, they could move electricity to areas that don’t have it. But Texas, Greg Abbott, etc.

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