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How freezing rain, tree-lined neighborhoods and above-ground power lines prolonged Austin power outages

Tens of thousands of Austin households and businesses went days without electricity after a winter storm wreaked havoc across Texas.

Whitney Morrow serves dinner, cooked on a propane camping stove, by a battery-powered desk light used for working from home in Wooten, Austin on Feb. 6, 2023.

The ice storm was worse than predicted

Icicles hang from telephone poles and power lines after an ice storm in north Austin on Feb. 1, 2023.

Texas cities aren’t built for extreme cold

A technician from the Pedernales Electric Cooperative arrives to check on a power line in northwest Austin, Texas on February 1, 2023. Power outages swept across the region as a result of damage to power lines from ice and fallen tree limbs.

Austin fumbled warnings about prolonged outages

Austin Mayor Kirk Watson speaks with the press to discuss the city's response to mass power outages after a ice storm, at the Combined Transportation, Emergency, and Communications Center in Austin on Feb. 3, 2023.

People helped their neighbors and worked to occupy young children

Hua Chen, Huilan Liu and Juxiang Wang gather at a neighbor’s house for an improvised potluck cooked using propane and butane burners during the power outages onset by ice storms in Austin, Texas on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

The 2023 storm opened previous wounds

P.D. Perry Jr. looks out at the fallen tree limbs in his backyard in South Austin on February 4, 2023.

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