Gov. Greg Abbott gave an update Thursday the response to Texas’ unprecedented winter weather. Despite the threat of more rolling blackouts, power has been restored to nearly two million homes, dropping the number of those still without power to around 325,000.
According to the governor, remaining outages are due to downed lines and pending repairs and reconnections, not lack of power generation. These repairs are being conducted around the clock by local power companies.
Abbott said the state is focused on restoring power and water to all Texans. The state has already begun the process of making sure it doesn’t happen again, which he said starts with reforming the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
He called the operator’s failure to provide power and heat unacceptable as Texans faced freezing temperatures and unprecedented winter weather.
Abbott declared the reform of ERCOT an emergency item for this legislative session, asking lawmakers to investigate. In addition, he is asking lawmakers to mandate the winterization of generators in the power system and provide necessary funding.
With many Texans still in need of safe drinking water and suffering the effects of frozen and broken pipes, the state has requested the president issue a major disaster declaration.
If approved, this would allow residents to apply for assistance from FEMA to repair damage to their homes not covered by private insurance.
“With each passing hour we will continue to ensure your power will be restored and your water challenges will be resolved,” Abbott said.
“We’re not yet out of this, but we’re closer to this challenge being behind us. We will not stop until normalcy is returned to your lives.”
He urged Texans to continue to take precautions to stay safe and warm.
More than 300 warming centers are operational throughout the state. To find one near you, visit tdem.texas.gov/warm/
Road conditions will remain challenging for the next few days. For updates on road conditions, visit DriveTexas.org.