Report Your NEC Power Outage by Calling: 361-387-2581 or toll-free at 1-800-NEC-WATT (1-800-632-9288). Before you call, please check any next door neighbors to see if they are out of power and check your breaker box. In the rare event we can not find your account based on your service address or contact information, we may request the pole number (8-digit number found on the yellow tag of your power pole) or your meter ID number (found on the face of your meter).
Please click on the links below for information on the power restoration process:
www.texasready.gov - Disaster preparedness, information, and resources
www.ready.gov/hurricanes - Hurricane safety before, during, and after
www.tdem.texas.gov - Texas Division of Emergency Management
www.fema.gov/flood-insurance - Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage
www.tceq.texas.gov - Information for public water systems, household debris management, and safe drinking water
Texas Dept. of Transportation: Evacuation/Travel Information
Emergency Weather Links: The National Hurricane Center
Local Weather Links:
NEC is ready for hurricane season. Are you?
Every year at this time, people in South Texas brace themselves for another potentially destructive hurricane season. Use our hurricane preparedness guide to help you and your family prepare before, during, and after a potential storm.
Hurricane season officially takes place from June 1 through November 30, but NEC storm restoration planning takes place year-round. These powerful cyclones can severely impact our electrical system.
When major storms knock out power, our line crews take all necessary precautions before working on downed lines. Our number one goal is to restore power as quickly and safely as possible when storm impacts any part of the eight-county NEC service territory. When severe weather is predicted, NEC teams makes preparations to ensure line crews and contractors are mobilized and properly equipped to respond as soon as it is safe to do so. During hurricanes, each NEC employee plays an important role in the restoration plan and has been trained to be as ready as needed.
NEC encourage you also to practice safety and preparedness to protect your family during storms and outages. For prolonged power outages, turn off major appliances, TVs, computers, and other sensitive electronics. This will help avert damage from a power surge and avoid overloading the circuits during power restoration. Leave one light on to alert you when power is restored.
Listen to local news or a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio for storm and emergency information, and check our website, www.nueceselectric.org, and our Facebook and Twitter pages for important updates. You, or an out-of-town family member, can access the NEC website for regular updates and view outages through the NEC Outage Viewer. We will also communicate with you by sending out email blasts and automated phone calls. If you have an emergency, please contact your local law enforcement officials.
Advance planning can reduce stress and anxiety in the aftermath of storms and hurricanes. At NEC, we recommend that you act today because there is power in planning.
Whatever this hurricane season may bring, your local electric cooperative is here for you just as we have been for more than 80-years. We hope that the information in this guide proves useful to you and your family or business as you prepare for the upcoming storm season. From our co-op family to yours, we hope you have a safe and wonderful summer.
Dealing with a Major Power Outage
Heavy rain, hurricanes and tornadoes can bring power outages. In fact, these days, we at Nueces Electric Cooperative also prepare for fire, accidents and threats of terrorism that could result in major power outages. A major power outage can impact thousands of people and it can take several days, or even weeks, to restore electric power to everyone. Restoring power after a major outage is a BIG job that involves much more than moving a few trees and throwing a switch. In very severe circumstances, it may involve the rebuilding of parts of an electric system that took almost 70 years to build in the first place. While we certainly won't take anywhere near 70 years to restore your service, in a crisis that demolishes all or much of the NEC distribution and/or transmission system, it will likely take many weeks to restore power to all of our members. That will be the case even with the support of other crews from around the state and country.
Frequently Asked Questions About Major Outages & Electric Service Restoration
How Do I Report an Outage?
Call 1-800-NEC-WATT (1-800-632-9288) to Report your Power Outage to NEC
All Nueces Electric Cooperative telephone lines are manned 24 hours a day to receive emergency power outage reports. Calls are either answered in our office, or on weekends and after-hours, by our off-site call center. NEC has 19,000 consumers, and in a major outage, unfortunately, we cannot prevent the frustration you will undoubtedly feel as you repeatedly get a busy signal when you attempt to reach us by telephone. In a crisis situation, know that NEC begins its service restoration process as soon as the initial crisis or storm passes. We likely know about your outage, but we encourage you to report it anyway to ensure that your outage is not an isolated situation. Please be patient when reporting your outage.
How Can I Get Power Restoration Updates?
- NEC launched its Outage Texting system in June 2019 which sends texts alerts members during the event of a power outage. For more information, visit Outage Texting
- News releases with restoration progress updates will be sent daily (or more frequently) during a major outage to the newspapers for their websites and print, television networks (Corpus Christi ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates), and area radio stations (including K99 and KLUX) These updates will continue until all power is restored.
- The HOME PAGE the Nueces Electric Cooperative website: www.nueceselectric.org will provide regular updates and communication from the co-op on the restoration system progress. NEC encourages you to review the Power Restoration Process Image so you are aware of the restoration process and priorities. If you do not have access to a computer during the outage, you are encouraged to contact a friend or relative outside the area and ask them to check the website for you and provide you with the updated information.
- NEC will utilize Facebook to provide updates and information.
- Restoration efforts can monitored by using the NEC Outage Viewer located on the homepage of www.nueceselectric.org. The Outage Viewer can be accessed using any smart device (cell phones, iPads, etc...) as well as home or business computers. Our website is hosted externally so even if NEC servers go down, we will still be able to access and update our websites.
How is Power Restored? Does Anyone Get Priority Treatment?
No employees, managers, or directors of NEC receive priority treatment for service restoration. However, Nueces Electric Cooperative does maintain a priority restoration list for member-consumers who rely on life support equipment. Registration for this list must be done BEFORE the storm or crisis, with proper physician authorization. Members should contact NEC for more information before the next crisis or storm. Registration must be renewed annually or members are removed from the list. NEC also maintains a priority list for any business and commercial consumers whose operations have an impact on public health and safety. These may include healthcare facilities, stores on which the public depends for supplies, utilities, etc. (Note: Even these priority registrants may need to wait a long time for damage repairs and power restoration. Back-up power systems and/or evacuation are strongly recommended.)
I Saw an NEC Truck Drive Right By My House. Why Don't I Have Power Yet?
As detailed above, NEC crews have a methodical plan for checking the system for damage and then restoring your power. NEC has crews working throughout the crisis to restore service to all NEC members. They must follow the process and procedures in order to conduct the full system restoration in the most efficient and effective manner. Again, safety is our top priority, and a tired and/or undernourished lineman can be at great risk when working with electricity. All NEC employees must take time for periodic meals and sleep in order to safely and efficiently get the job of your service restoration completed. Because power line work conducted in the dark is slow and dangerous, NEC's emergency restoration plan calls for all line crews to sleep during the dark, evening hours. Please remember, NEC employees are working hard for you at a time when, like you, they also may have outages and other personal issues of their own to deal with as a result of the crisis. Your support, patience, and understanding are greatly appreciated. Please continue to monitor the NEC Outage Viewer to see the big-picture restoration progress. The outage Viewer is real-time, meaning what you see is what is happening.
What About Electric Safety During and After the Power Outage?
Safety is our top priority during emergency service restoration situations and it should be your top priority, as well. NEC will not send employees into a dangerous situation to restore power until we can minimize the danger; whether this means taking time for proper tree removal or waiting to allow flood waters to recede. For safety's sake, please keep in mind the following:
If used improperly a back-up generator can make life a lot more dangerous! Follow manufacturer instructions to protect you and your family when using a portable generator. Avoid it if at all possible, but if you must connect the generator to the house wiring, you must have had a qualified electrician hook up the standby electrical system. This is to protect linemen from being shocked by power from your generator while doing repairs to the line. (the power from your generator will back-feed through the power lines)
Also, never keep your generator inside your home. Always runt he generator is your opened garage or patio to prevent death or illness from carbon monoxide poisoning.
WIRING AND APPLIANCES EXPOSED TO WATER
If you have appliances or equipment that have been exposed to water never assume they are safe to use after they have dried. Before you try to use any electrical appliance that has been exposed to water, take it to a qualified service technician. The item may be fine, it may need reconditioning, or it might require replacement.
DOWNED POWER LINES
Assume that any downed power line is “live.” Do not go near it or attempt to remove anything in contact with it. Report the problem immediately to the utility and local fire or police authorities. If you can, stay nearby to warn others away from the downed line. If you’re inside a car in contact with a downed line, stay inside! You can safely use a cellular phone, if you have one, to call for help. Never drive across a downed power line. If someone is shocked by contact with a downed line, don’t touch the person! Use a dry, un-painted plastic or wooden object, such as broom handle, to try to separate the victim from the power source. Call 911 for help immediately.
(Tuesday, September 14, 2021) 9:00am Update- As a Category 1 Hurricane, Nicholas made landfall at 12:30am this morning, near Sargent, Texas. Nicholas is currently on land as a tropical storm. At this time, NEC is de-activating its emergency response plan for this tropical cyclone. Thank you for your cooperation and support.
(Monday, September 13, 2021) 1:00pm Update- Tropical Storm Nicholas has slightly shifted to the east but continues to move north at 12 mph with max sustained winds near 60 mph. Landfall is expected to occur along the middle to upper Texas Coast later tonight. With the easterly shift in the center, impacts in the Coastal Bend will be slightly lower. NEC continues taking steps to prepare for the storm, and we urge our members to do so as well. Dangerous winds, heavy rain and flooding could still cause a threat to our service territory. To report an outage, please call 1-800-632-9288 or 361-387-2581.
(September 13, 2021) 8:30am Update- With Tropical Storm Nicholas expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to parts of the NEC territory, we encourage our members to visit our storm center webpage for storm preparedness information. Weather forecasts expect 4-6 inches of rain, but higher amounts are possible. Flooding is most likely in urban areas, small creeks, and streams. A flash flood warning remains active.
To report an outage, please call 1-800-632-9288 or 361-387-2581. We’re prepared to respond to any outages this storm could cause. However, please keep in mind that flooding conditions and high winds may make it more difficult for our linemen to restore power, and outages could be longer than normal.
(September 12, 2021) 1:00pm Update- As Tropical Storm Nicholas continues to move closer to the coast, we are standing by to work on storm-related power outages. Follow the US National Weather Service Corpus Christi Texas for Tropical Storm Nicholas news and updates. NEC urges members to act now to prepare to remain safe and comfortable in the event of extended outages!
Tips to remember:
- Report outages on SmartHub or by calling 1-800-632-9288.
- Do not approach downed power lines or poles. They could still be energized and are dangerous.
-Do not plug the generator into home circuits if you don’t have a professionally installed transfer switch. Otherwise, you could back feed electricity onto deenergized lines which could kill a power line worker down the line as he works to restore power.
- If you are in a coastal or flood-prone area, be prepared for the possibility of flooding. Do not drive through flood waters. Turn around, don't drown.
- Unplug appliances and devices to prevent power surges to them.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers closed to help maintain the temperature.
- Secure loose items around your home.
Tropical Storm-force conditions (39-73mph winds) could arrive as early as Monday afternoon and last through Tuesday morning.
(September 12, 2021) 10:30am Update- Tropical Storm Nicholas has just formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Winds are expected to peak near 65 mph. At this time, Nicholas is not expected to become a hurricane, but we will continue to monitor future forecasts. Tropical storm force conditions could begin as early as Monday afternoon. We encourage our members, especially those on life support or those taking care of someone on life support to prepare for the possibility of extended outages.
We also want to encourage our members to visit our storm center webpage for storm preparedness information. To report an outage, please call 1-800-632-9288 or 361-387-2581.
(September 12, 2021) 7:30am Update: There remains a 90% chance for tropical cyclone development in the far SW Gulf in the coming days. Be prepared for possible tropical storm watches and warnings. NEC's service territory is expected to experience heavy rainfall. We encourage all members to stay safe and dry! NEC is prepared to respond to any outages that our members might experience during this time. Should an outage occur, please report it to our office at 1-800-632-9288. Please have your name, account number, and other important information ready.
(September 11, 2021) 2:00pm Update: There is now a 90% chance that a Tropical Depression forms in the far SW Gulf Sunday or Monday, before moving North toward the Texas Gulf Coast. Additional development into a Tropical Storm is possible if the system remains over the Gulf long enough. Regardless of how intense this storm is at landfall, heavy rainfall is expected. Please keep in mind that flooding conditions could make it more difficult for our linemen to respond to outages, and outage times could be longer than normal. As always, outages can be reported by phone at 1-800-632-9288 and online through your SmartHub account.
(September 11, 2021) 11:00am Update: The National Weather Service is expecting a chance for heavy rainfall throughout our service areas Sunday - Tuesday. NEC has activated its emergency response plan. Please visit the NEC storm center on our website for storm preparedness tips and up to date information. We encourage our members, especially those on life support or those taking care of someone on life support, to prepare for the possibility of extended outages. We will continue to monitor the development of this disturbance. As we receive more information, we will update our members.