TV station loses power as meteorologist warns of power outages

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A local television station in Texas temporarily lost power on Wednesday as a weather forecaster went live, talking about the possibility of power outages in the area due to extreme temperatures.

In a tweet, Travis Herzog, KTRK-TV’s chief meteorologist in Houston, wrote, “That moment when you’re on live TV talking about hot weather in Texas that could lead to blackouts… then the current goes out.”

In the video, Herzog can be heard talking about the increasingly hot temperatures seen in many parts of Texas this week. Herzog went on to explain how high temperatures create a “big draw” on electricity demand, when power from the plant temporarily drops. “It looks like we just switched to generator power, our lights just went out,” Herzog said.

Wednesday’s incident came shortly after the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) called on Texans to conserve power from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time due to high temperatures.

A local television station lost power on Wednesday as the station’s chief meteorologist warned of possible power outages due to high temperatures in the state. Above, power lines are shown June 15, 2021 in Houston.
Brandon Bell/Getty

“Conditions today are expected to be similar to those experienced on Monday, July 11, 2022. That day, Texans and businesses responded by voluntarily conserving power and helping ERCOT successfully meet demand for electricity. ‘record electricity by reducing their energy consumption by 500 MW,’ ERCOT said in a statement on Wednesday. “The heat wave that has taken hold of Texas and much of the central United States is driving increased electricity use. Other grid operators are operating under conservative operating schedules similar to ERCOT due to the heat wave.”

On Wednesday, Houston’s National Weather Service reported that the city tied the record for the highest temperature, dating back to 1980.

“With dangerous heat continuing across SE TX, we have yet another day of record high temperatures to report. Today we observed a new daily high temperature record at College Station (106 degrees in 1901) and equaled the record in Houston (102 degrees in 1980),” the city’s National Weather Service said in a tweet.

In a later tweet, Herzog said the power temporarily went out for the second time during his weather broadcast later Wednesday.

“The weather video wall behind me and the rest of our production equipment are still on backup power, so here I am again in silhouette on live television,” Herzog said. wrote.

Later, Herzog further explained the incident on Twitter. saying“Mystery solved. One of our engineers informed me that we disconnected from the mains a little after 3 p.m. The lights in the studio are not powered by a dedicated backup power source, so they went out when we switched power to the generator. Two hours later we switched off the generator and on to the mains and the process repeated.”

According to a map from PowerOutage.US, in Texas there are currently over 17,000 customers currently without power, out of 12,559,678 customers being tracked.

Herzog further stated Newsweek that he was initially “a bit scared” when the power first went out on his show citing ERCOT’s conservation alert.

“I didn’t really know what was going on or if we were still live, but I’ve learned over the years that you just keep doing your job like you’re live until someone tells you opposite!” Herzog said Newsweek. “I couldn’t believe this was happening to me the second time around – a way to ruin an Emmy award-winning in-progress weather! RUIN! I decided to have a little more fun with it the second time around because what else can you do? It’s live TV!”

Update 7/14/22, 2:47 PM ET: This story has been updated with further comments from Travis Herzog.

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