Texans use Whataburger app to know about power outages after Hurricane Beryl

With the lights out in parts of Texas following Hurricane Beryl’s landfall, thousands of people in the state have turned to an unlikely source for updates — a popular burger chain.

Residents who faced the storm’s wrath are relying on Whataburger – and not the local energy company — to know which parts of the Houston area have lost power.

The app for the fast food chain has a geomap that shows which locations are open and have power, and which restaurants are closed because they likely don’t have electricity, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Debris and flood waters from Hurricane Beryl cover the main roadway in Surfside Beach, Texas, on July 8. REUTERS

An X user pointed out the unintentional public service.

“The Whataburger app works as a power outage tracker, handy since the electric company doesn’t show a map,” the user tweeted on Monday. “Still nearly 1.9 million power outages.”

The power company, CenterPoint, has not had their tracker map — which shows which areas have electrical outages — online since May because of “technical difficulties” caused by another bruising storm that hit the area, Houston Landing reported.

The Wataburger app has unintentionally acted as a public service. BBQBryan/X

“We’re glad the Whataburger app has been helpful to Houston residents to understand where power is available in the city,” Whataburger President and CEO Ed Nelson told USA TODAY.

The company leader noted residents should still call the locations to ensure they are open and the map should only be used as a “general idea of power availability.”

Repairs are needed across the region following the hurricane. REUTERS
The Whataburger app has been a beacon of help for locals affected by the storm. Christopher Sadowski

Social media users commended the burger joint while expressing frustration with the energy company.

“As a former CenterPoint comms employee that struggled with the bureaucracy there when communicating about outages: oh my god,” tweeted one ex-energy company worker.

“With power being IN N OUT of service around Houston, WHATABURGER saves the day!” another user tweeted in reference to the Texas burger spot’s West Coast rival In-N-Out.

Hurricane Beryl slammed Texas early Monday with heavy rain and ferocious winds, initially leaving almost 3 million homes and businesses without power.  At least eight people in the US have been killed during the storm.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 1.58 million were still without power, according to CenterPoint. 

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