Update Tuesday January 6, 6:50 PM: Power has been restored to Big Bend National Park, according to residents and the park itself.
“Everything is back up and running,” BBNP spokesperson David Elkowitz told KRTS Wednesday morning, saying the park is “back in business.”
The snow and ice that plagued the region last week has melted, but power outages remain. For Marfa Public Radio, Tom Michael explains what it means for one of the more popular attractions in the Big Bend.
“We have limited gas and limited services down here right now at Big Bend National Park,” said David Elkowitz on Monday. He is the park’s Public Information Officer.
As of Tuesday morning, the park was still alerting visitors of the condition.
“Our main visitors center and our hotel are without electricity. The hotel is open, but we are discouraging visitors to come to the park. We still serve the three meals. Stores are open basically the daylight hours.”
The impact is not just on buildings but on vehicles, too.
“The issue is getting the fuel pumped. We have had limited deliveries. We are pumping on generator, but the ability to do so is limited.”
Lorna Leedy is married to a park ranger and lives in the Chisos Basin. She says. “It went out Friday morning and it just never came back on.”
But like other full-time residents – she and her husband are experienced campers.
Yeah, we do alright we got the camping stoves and the backup kerosene, but you know, it still really makes you appreciate modern conveniences.
And when might power be restored? David Elkowitz says. “That’s a good question.” And this was Leedy’s guess over the weekend: “Sometime Monday or Tuesday.” And Elkowitz? “Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Regardless of when power may be restored, there’s also a water shortage throughout park. Visitors are being asked to postpone their trip, and if they do come, to limit themselves to 5 gallons or less a day, or to bring their own water.