Here is how local officials prioritize who gets their power restored after storm

HOUSTON – With winter storm conditions in the forecast, there’s a chance the power could go out. So who gets their service restored first?

CenterPoint Energy said priority goes to facilities that provide a vital service to the community including hospitals, police and fire stations and water treatment plants.

“Our crews really work to restore first the facilities that are key to the health and welfare of the community,” said CenterPoint spokesperson Olivia Koch.

Then, the team works to fix lines that would affect a large number of customers.

“We work down to start repairing those major lines and fuses that will restore the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time, and we continue to work our way down to make sure everyone has their power restored,” Koch said.

Finally, crews would work to repair service drops and underground lines linked to individual homes, according to CenterPoint’s website.

The time frame for repairs can depend on factors like the extent of the damage and the ability of crews to access different areas.

“If we’re not able to access an area or the roads are just too slick for it to be safe, we obviously don’t want to put our employees in harm’s way,” Koch said.

Even if winter storms aren’t common in the Houston area, CenterPoint said its linemen have helped respond to similar situations in other parts of the country and have experience working in those conditions.