Houston TV station loses power while discussing blackouts on air

The blackout came as severe heat is straining energy supply in the state.

July 14, 2022, 12:54 PM

A meteorologist's warning about potential blackouts in Texas became an unexpected demonstration when his TV station lost power right in the middle of a broadcast Wednesday.

Travis Herzog was on air for Houston ABC station KTRK on Wednesday afternoon around 3 p.m. when the studio's lights suddenly went dark.

As the blackout hit, Herzog was in the middle of discussing the possibility of rolling blackouts in the state due to the area's continuing heat wave.

The studio was not part of a planned rolling blackout, according to the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas. In fact, ERCOT told ABC News that no blackouts were planned or implemented at all on Wednesday.

Instead, Herzog's weather forecast was an unlucky recipient of an unplanned outage.

Fortunately, engineers at the studio were able to switch from grid power to generator power and they stayed on the air.

PHOTO: KTRK Chief Meteorologist Travis Herzog shared a video of the lights going out while talking about blackouts in Houston, July 13, 2022.
KTRK Chief Meteorologist Travis Herzog shared a video of the lights going out while talking about blackouts in Houston, July 13, 2022.
KTRK

According to Herzog, the station went back onto grid power about two hours later, but there was then another blackout.

Since the studio lights -- unlike the green screen used to display forecasts -- aren't on a dedicated backup power source, they were not able to stay on as engineers switched the power source for the studio.

Herzog's interrupted forecast discussed the extreme heat that continues to face Texans across the state.

On Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported both Waco and Austin reached 108 degrees.

Waco has reached highs above 105 degrees for each of the past six days, the NWS said.

In Houston, temperatures have hovered around 100 degrees during midday.

PHOTO: A transmission tower is seen on July 11, 2022, in Houston. ERCOT is urging Texans to voluntarily conserve power today, due to extreme heat potentially causing rolling blackouts. ERCOT has also projected there to be no blackouts this week.
A transmission tower is seen on July 11, 2022, in Houston. ERCOT is urging Texans to voluntarily conserve power today, due to extreme heat potentially causing rolling blackouts. ERCOT has also projected there to be no blackouts this week.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images, FILE

Heat advisories remain in place for much of central Texas into Thursday.

The extreme heat has led to the state's power grid issuing two different conservation appeals within three days this week.

Just hours before the blackout at KTRK on Wednesday, ERCOT issued a conservation appeal, asking Texans and business owners to voluntarily conserve energy from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

ERCOT's alert also stated that the day's tightest hour for energy supply versus demand would be 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., lining up with KTRK's 3 p.m. outage.

Power demand for Wednesday was forecast to reach 78,451 megawatts, surpassing the record demand set on Monday and broken on Tuesday.

With Texas slated to face even hotter temperatures into the weekend, residents will await a possible third appeal from ERCOT to conserve energy, as well as the possibility of rolling blackouts.

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