U.S. Air Force Photo Illustration by Senior Airman Stephen G. Eigel

If you were one of the 350,000 North Texans sitting in the dark (or paying for a hotel room)during last week’s power outage, you might have missed one little tidbit of information that should make the real estate-minded perk up their ears.

There are places you can live where your power is more likely to come back sooner. Now, nobody outright said, “Move to these neighborhoods and you’ll have your power back on before your popsicles start melting,” but if you’re astute, you can read between the lines.

Oncor (and pretty much every other electricity provider in the country) has triaged where power is restored based on how critical the structures in an area are to the public.

First comes the transmission line outages, because they deliver power to entire neighborhoods and businesses. Because so many can be without power if a line goes down, those are a top priority.

But here’s the bigger takeaway: there are certain structures that, if in your neighborhood, are always going to get power restored pretty quickly, too. (more…)

Spoiler (see what we did there?) alert: If this is what you see on your fridge when your power returns, there’s no coming back from it (Photo courtesy Tom Erickson).

If you’re like 350,000 other Oncor customers, you are likely finally reading this at home, on your couch, with a light on powered by — finally — electricity.

But can we engage in some real talk? Because you’re probably wondering about everything in your fridge. I know I was. I mean, I had just put the groceries away, practically, when the power went out Sunday.

We didn’t get the lights back on until late Tuesday night. And I wondered — my fridge and freezer stayed closed pretty much the entire time. Do I have to throw everything away? Did it act as a cooler?

Ehhhh, no. No, it didn’t. As you can see in the photo above, those were the temps on our fridge and freezer about 10 minutes after the power came on. But to be sure, I asked some experts. (more…)

electricityThe good news is this week’s Wednesday WTF is being written. The bad news is it’s being written from a hotel room next to a strip club because home base has no electricity.

You think I’m kidding, but Monday when we couldn’t find any restaurants open, my sweet innocent child said from the backseat, “Oh look, Mom! There’s a buffet at that place. If they’re open we can go have lunch.”


So yeah, that was a whole thing.

Anyway, we spent Sunday night believing Oncor when it said we would have electricity by 5 p.m. Then 6 p.m. Then 9 p.m., then WTF PM ARE YOU DOING OUT THERE? And we were all trying to be very zen about it. We spent time outside. We filled up the wading pool. We ate popsicles.

But around midnight, with all of us sleeping in separate beds because all of us needed to starfish for maximum circulation, it became clear that Oncor knew as much as we did about the electrical grid of the Dallas Metropolitan Statistical Area. (more…)