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Texans Use Whataburger App To Track Power Outages After Hurricane Beryl

On Monday, July 8, Texas was battered with Category One status Hurricane Beryl as it made landfall in Houston as well as Louisiana, killing at least eight people and leaving almost 20% of their population without power.

In its wake, crafty Texans have taken to an unlikely source of information: the Whataburger app.

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The local energy company, CenterPoint Energy, reported that over two million of its customers are currently without power, with no end in sight. So why, we ask, does such a large privately-owned corporation have the means to tell its customers they're without power but no way to inform them where the outages occurred or when power will be restored?

Without answers from the company, customers have resorted to tracking power outages via the Whataburger app. On Monday night, X (formerly Twitter) user BBQBryan posted: "The Whataburger app works as a power outage tracker, handy since the electric company doesn't show a map. Still nearly 1.9 million power outages."

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This isn't the first time the privately-owned Texas energy grid has suffered due to turbulent weather conditions. Back in February 2021, three severe weather storms nearly destroyed the energy infrastructure and left millions without power in frigid conditions. Now, three years later, nothing has changed to prepare for severe weather. This time, Texans are suffering through sweltering heat.

Satellite images from 2021 demonstrating the devastating power outages in Houston that left millions without power for 17 days. (Wikipedia)

In 2021, customers were stuck without power for 17 days—over two weeks without heat, hot water, or answers from CenterPoint Energy. Now, with Hurricane Beryl causing new outages, the corporation still hasn't informed consumers how long the power will be out. Residents' only hope for answers lies in a popular fast food chain's app.

Now if you excuse me, I'll be nominating Whataburger for a humanitarian award.