Sunday, July 21, 2024

Focus at Four: Infrastructure expert on storm impacts with electrical grid

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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – Power outages continue following Hurricane Beryl.

Millions of customers in the greater Houston area lost power Monday.

This is especially true in flooded areas.

Sam Brody, a professor with Texas A&M Galveston, joined First News at Four on Wednesday and mentioned that a variety of impacts like storm surge and rainfall made Beryl more difficult despite its Tropical Storm status when it hit the Houston area.

“When you get power lines down and the roads are also flooding, you can imagine that’s a recipe for disaster because you’ve got potentially live wires in water, and it makes it very difficult for emergency personnel to access those lines and make the repairs,” he said.

Without electricity, Brody said that at-risk populations are harmed more directly because of access issues.

“Not everyone can afford a generator, and that’s the that is the best way to mitigate the impacts of widespread power outages. But without a generator, finding a public facility or designated cooling centers, paying attention to where those open up. As you know, the heat index in the Houston area is well over 100° today,” he said.

Brody said a solution is to take the impacts we are seeing now and learn from them.

“We need to start thinking synergistically. Start thinking more regionally about these events. Understand how, as you mentioned, the combination of loss of power flooding, storm surge, heat and health impacts all relates, so there’s no one quick fix to address these storms,” he said.

Watch the full interview in the video player above.

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