News & Politics

AERIAL PHOTOS: Downtown Austin Office Buildings, Parking Garages Stay Lit Up While Citizens Shiver in the Rolling Blackouts

Austin City Hall, lit up while residents lost power and heat due to rolling blackouts. Photo by Jared Tennant.

Throughout Monday and Tuesday, between 190,000 and 211,000 electric customers of Austin Energy had their power cut due to the historic winter storms that have slammed Texas. This amounts to around 40% or more, just for Austin Energy. Other providers such as Oncor and the Pedernales Electric Cooperative have left similar percentages of customers without power.

But while area families and residents shiver in the dark, downtown Austin office buildings remained fully lit Monday and Tuesday night.

Jared Tennant is one of the best-known aerial photographers in central Texas. I got to know his work through the Austin Drone Pilots group on Facebook a few years back.

The Austinite, whose home also lost power during the rolling and extended blackouts, noticed the lights stayed on Monday night. Tuesday night he flew his drone downtown to capture the following stunning images. They show municipal buildings, empty office buildings, and even empty parking garages fully lit throughout the night. All of the following images belong to Jared Tennant and are used with his permission.

Tennant captured these incredible images of downtown Austin Tuesday night. While some of the lit buildings are hotels and condos, many are office buildings or buildings under construction with no one inside.

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Panoramic photo of downtown Austin, Texas during the blackouts. (Photo by Jared Tennant)

 

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(Photo by Jared Tennant)

Downtown Austin, viewed from the south.

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(Photo by Jared Tennant)

Office buildings in downtown Austin, lit up during the blackouts.

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Austin City Hall, lit during rolling blackouts. (Photo by Jared Tennant)

 

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Austin City Hall, lit up during rolling blackouts. (Photo by Jared Tennant)

This is Austin City Hall, completely lit despite Mayor Steve Adler urging city residents to conserve power in their homes.

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Austin Convention Center, lit during rolling blackouts while nearby neighborhoods are dark. (Photo by Jared Tennant)

This is a frame from Tennant’s 360-degree panoramic of Austin’s convention center. While its exterior is entirely lit up, neighborhoods across I-35 are completely dark.

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(Photo by Jared Tennant)

Another frame from a 360-degree panoramic. This one shows a mostly empty parking garage fully lit. Austinites have been largely unable to drive the icy streets since late Sunday night.

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(Photo by Jared Tennant)

More lit up, empty parking garages in the foreground, with high-rise empty office buildings in the distance.

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(Photo by Jared Tennant)

This is the Palmer Events Center. It is being used as a warming center for homeless residents and others who need it. But do all the exterior lights, the lights in the huge empty parking garage behind it, and the lights around the lake in front need to be kept on?

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(Photo by Jared Tennant)

This is the area around Lavaca St. and Cesar Chavez Blvd. Silicon Labs, foreground, is reportedly hosting some of its staff who have lost power in their homes. But there are thousands of lights left on across the area in this image.

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Downtown Austin mural and offices lit up during blackouts. (Photo by Jared Tennant)

Downtown offices and even a mural were lit up during the blackouts.

Dallas and Houston were lit up earlier in the week but turned many lights off Tuesday night in response to complaints. Austin remained lit up all night.

 

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