Powerful: How a Burger App Helped Texans Find Power During Hurricane Beryl

Houston, Texas – Hurricane Beryl wreaked havoc in Southeast Texas, leaving millions in the Houston area without power. Unfortunately, technical issues with the city’s main energy provider’s tracker made it impossible to determine the extent of the power outages or locate areas where essential services were still available.

In a stroke of luck, Bryan Norton, a 55-year-old tech worker and podcast host, discovered an unlikely source of assistance – the Whataburger app. The app’s map displayed which of its numerous restaurants across Houston were still open, providing valuable information on areas with restored power.

Norton shared his discovery on social media, quickly gaining traction as thousands used the app to track power outages and find relief from the soaring temperatures and humidity. Users found that open Whataburger locations often indicated nearby functioning gas stations or stores, a useful resource when the utility company’s power restoration map was inaccessible.

The ingenious use of the Whataburger app, now dubbed the “Watt-aburger Map” or the “Whataburger Workaround,” spread rapidly, offering residents a practical solution to the power outage crisis. As CenterPoint Energy worked to restore power to over a million customers in the aftermath of the storm, the app became a lifeline for many Houstonians.

Despite frustrations over the lack of a reliable tracking map from the utility company, residents like Carliss Chatman turned to innovative solutions like the Whataburger app to navigate the power outages. The app’s accuracy in indicating areas with power availability proved invaluable during a time of uncertainty.

As Houston residents grappled with the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl, the use of the Whataburger app highlighted the resilience and resourcefulness of the community in times of crisis. While the app provided a general idea of power availability, it served as a beacon of hope for many struggling to cope with the impact of the storm.

In the face of adversity, Houstonians found comfort in unlikely places, showing that in times of crisis, even a burger joint’s app could provide vital information. The “Watt-aburger Map” served as a reminder of the community’s ability to adapt and overcome challenges, showcasing the strength and unity of the city in the wake of a natural disaster.