Texans Use Whataburger App to Track Power Outages Amid Hurricane Beryl

by Nick

Texans impacted by Hurricane Beryl are turning to the Whataburger app to monitor power outages after CenterPoint Energy’s outage map went down this week. The app shows real-time updates on store closures, using a gray Whataburger logo to indicate which locations are closed. Customers are using this information to determine which areas have restored power.

The Texas-based burger chain has over 900 locations in the U.S., with around 700 in Texas alone.


Background: Social media users voiced frustration over the lack of a power outage map from Houston-based CenterPoint Energy, leading them to rely on the Whataburger app for updates.

Advertisements, an independent tracker, reports that CenterPoint’s outage map is currently offline. CenterPoint only provides a tracker with information on the number of affected customers, active outages, customers who have had power restored in the past 24 hours, and the number of outages restored in the past 24 hours.


This isn’t the first time CenterPoint has faced system issues during a storm. In May, their outage tracker experienced “technical difficulties” following deadly storms that killed at least four people in Texas, according to The Houston Chronicle.


Forbes has reached out to CenterPoint for comment.

Current Situation: Over 2 million people in Texas are without power as of 5:20 p.m. EDT, according to

CenterPoint customers make up the majority, with over 1.6 million still without power.

Impact of Hurricane Beryl: Beryl made landfall in Texas early Monday near Matagorda as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 80 mph. The storm had earlier become the earliest Category 4 and Category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic.

At least 11 people in the Caribbean and seven in the U.S. (one in Louisiana and six in Texas) have died due to the storm. Jamaican officials reported $6.4 million in crop and infrastructure damage, leading to food shortages.

Crucial Quote: “We’re glad the Whataburger app has been helpful to Houston residents to understand where power is available in the city,” said Ed Nelson, Whataburger president and CEO. “Keep in mind, the app should only be used as a general idea of power availability. We encourage residents to call local units to see if they are open and operating. Everyone please be safe if you leave your home.”

Surprising Fact: This isn’t the first time a fast food chain has been used to track power outages. The “Waffle House Index,” created by former FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, became popular after Hurricane Irene in 2011. Like the Whataburger app, people used Waffle House closures to determine if their area had power. There are 1,900 Waffle House locations, mainly in the South and along the Gulf Coast, where hurricanes frequently hit.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has faced criticism for his absence during the storm. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has been acting governor since July 5. Abbott is on an international business trip to South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, organized by the state, and will not return until Friday. Abbott stated in a July 5 update that he is in daily contact with Acting Governor Patrick and other officials to ensure that Texas deploys all necessary resources.


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