Millions of Texans without power – freezing, even dying, in homes with no heat. How did it happen in a state that's considered the power capital of the world?
From the first day of the February storm, NBC 5 Investigates has questioned officials, requested thousands of pages of documents, and traveled across the state, and even the country, searching for answers to how the crisis happened.
Now, in the series "Powerless," our reporting reveals why Texans received no clear warning that widespread power outages were on the way or that people could be without electricity for days.
In the videos below, we expose the power plants and companies that left Texas in the dark twice, not only in February, but also in a previous winter storm in 2011. We travel to a harsh winter climate to see what Texas could do to make its power grid, and even wind power, more reliable. And we press state officials about whether their plans to fix the problems will really prevent another electric crisis in the future.
Ongoing episodes of the series below will be added as our team continues to pursue the truth about this Texas tragedy that cost more than 150 lives and resulted in an estimated $100-200 billion in damage.
View the full series now in a number of ways:
- Scroll down this page to watch all four episodes below.
- Watch on your Roku device: add the NBC DFW channel to your collection, open the channel and select the Powerless playlist.
- Watch on your Apple TV device: download the NBC DFW app to your collection, open the app and select the Powerless playlist.
Other Reports From NBC 5 Investigates
- ERCOT Vows to Investigate Early Summer Power Plant Breakdowns (June 14)
- What Texas Lawmakers Did (And Did Not Do) to Address the Power Crisis (June 1)
- Texas at ‘Elevated Risk' of Summer Power Shortages, Potential Outages, Regulators Warn (May 27)
- NBC 5 Investigates: How Texas Wind Power Could Work Better in Cold Weather (May 20)
- NBC 5 Investigates How Colder States Avoid Winter Blackouts (May 12)
- NBC 5 Investigates Which Power Plants Left Texans Powerless in February (April 29)
- ERCOT Had Concerns About Power Supplies Before Tuesday's Conservation Alert (April 15)
- Texas Power Conservation Alert Raises Alarm Across Texas (April 14)
- NBC 5 Investigates: U.S. Senate Probes Texas Power Outages (March 12)
- Texas Speaker Unveils Plan to Prevent Repeat of State's Energy Crisis (March 9)
- Many Power Plants Didn't Meet Winter Recommendations in Past Seasons (March 5)
- Lawmakers Grill ERCOT CEO on First Day of Power Crisis Hearings (Feb. 26)
- ERCOT: Texas Was 4 Minutes and 37 Seconds Away From a Blackout That Could Have Lasted Months (Feb. 25)
- Abbott Calls for Laws to Prevent Power Crisis Repeat (Feb. 25)
- ERCOT Messages Reveal Actions Prior to Massive Power Outage (Feb. 20)
- Customers Say Oncor's ‘Rolling Outage' Message Left Them Confused, Angry (Feb. 19)
- ERCOT CEO Defends Actions Leading Up to Winter Storm, Record Outages (Feb. 19)
- Federal Regulators Plan to Investigate Massive Texas Power Outage (Feb. 18)
- ERCOT Didn't Conduct On-Site Inspections of Power Plants to Verify Winter Preparedness (Feb. 18)
- What Happened to ‘the Energy Capital of the World' During This Winter Event? (Feb. 16)
- Power Outages and Texas Electric Emergency Explained (Feb. 15)