Breckenridge Texan

Cold weather causes issues across Stephens County; Breckenridge schools to start two hours late on Monday

Cold weather causes issues across Stephens County; Breckenridge schools to start two hours late on Monday
January 14
22:37 2024

The arctic cold front that moved into the area late Saturday will continue to impact Breckenridge and Stephens County, as well as much of the rest of the country through Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Monday morning’s temperature is predicted to be at 11 degrees at 8 a.m. In anticipation of potential problems related to the cold, Breckenridge Independent School District will have a two-hour delayed start on Monday,  Jan. 15, allowing staff an opportunity to ensure that the schools have water and that the heaters are working at all campuses.

If Stephens County gets inclement weather overnight, BISD will notify parents of any changes to the schedule. 

The storm started causing local problems early Sunday when power went out in some parts of the county. Many homes on the west side of Hubbard Creek Lake were without power for much of the day. According to the Stephens County Facebook page, the power outage was caused by equipment failure. 

Late Sunday, Oncor, the energy delivery company for this area, reported no remaining outages in Stephens County. If you are still without power, report the outage to Oncor. 

According to the National Weather Service, the overnight low from Sunday into Monday morning could be as low as 8 degrees. Monday’s high temperature is predicted at 24 degrees, and Monday’s overnight low is predicted to be 12 degrees. On Tuesday, the high temperature is expected to be 29 degrees, and Tuesday night’s low is forecast at 17. By Wednesday, the temperature is expected to rise above freezing with a high of 52 degrees.

Sunday evening, ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) issued a statement asking Texans to conserve electricity Monday morning, specifically between 6 and 10 a.m., when operating reserves are expected to be low. 

Click the box below to read the full announcement from ERCOT:

Statement from ERCOT

Due to continued freezing temperatures, very high demand, and unseasonably low wind, operating reserves are expected to be low during the morning hours of Monday, Jan. 15, prior to the solar ramp up. As a result, ERCOT is asking Texans to conserve electricity use, if safe to do so, Monday, Jan. 15, from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. CT. ERCOT is expecting similar conditions on Tuesday, Jan. 16, and will continue to closely monitor conditions and keep the public informed through our communication channels.

Tomorrow’s conservation appeal does not indicate ERCOT is experiencing emergency conditions at this time. ERCOT will remain vigilant and communicate further if conditions change because of continued freezing temperatures and very high demand in the morning hours.

At this time, if you are experiencing an outage, it is local in nature and not related to overall grid reliability. Please check with your local electric provider for more information.  

Conservation is a widely used industry tool that can help lower demand for a specific period of peak demand time, which is typically during the morning hours in winter.

ERCOT is requesting all government agencies (including city and county offices) to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities until at least 10 a.m. tomorrow.

ERCOT continues to use additional tools to manage the grid reliably, including using reserve power, calling upon reductions by large electric customers that have volunteered to lower their energy use, and bringing more generation online sooner. ERCOT is also working with out-of-state Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Market Participants to obtain additional power generation capacity, if available.

ERCOT has obtained Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) enforcement discretion, which allows a generator to extend its service/run-time/operations to help meet demand, if needed, and maintain grid reliability. Energy-saving tips can be found on the TXANS webpage at

Why the Request to Reduce Usage?

  • Weather. Most of Texas is seeing extremely cold temperatures for an extended period of time.
  • Demand. Texas is experiencing record breaking demand due to the cold weather.
  • Solar. Solar generation isn’t available in the early morning hours, which is a peak demand time during winter, and slowly ramps up as the sun rises.
  • Wind. Wind generation is forecasted to be lower than seasonally expected in the early morning hours.

Peak Demand

In 2023, January peak demand reached 65,632 MW, with the current all-time peak demand record of 85,508 MW set on August 10, 2023. The all-time winter peak demand record of 74,525 MW was set December 23, 2022, in the 7-8 a.m. hour during Winter Storm Elliott.

The Stephens County Law Enforcement Center is open 24 hours a day and serves as a warming station for anyone who needs a place to warm up. The LEC is located at 210 E. Dyer St. in Breckenridge.

County and City officials encourage local residents to check on their friends and neighbors and make sure everyone has heat. If anyone needs assistance, they can call the Breckenridge Police Department’s non-emergency number, 254-559-2211. In an emergency situation, call 9-1-1. 

Monday, Jan. 15, is the federal holiday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and some businesses and government offices will be closed.


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