HOUSTON — Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday gave an update on the State of Texas' cold weather response ahead of the arctic blast that is expected to hit Texas Thursday and last through Christmas weekend.
Though the state is not expecting to get precipitation, it is still important to prepare for a severe cold weather event with freezing cold temperatures, wind-chills and high winds.
"The State of Texas is ready to fully and robustly respond to the severe cold weather event expected to impact Texas this holiday week, and our state's electrical grid is absolutely prepared to meet demand over the course of this storm," Abbott said." As we continue to monitor the weather, we remain in close coordination with local leaders across the state to ensure they have the resources needed to keep our communities safe. I want to thank our emergency response personnel who are spending time away from their families this holiday season so that their fellow Texans are kept safe and warm during this severe weather event."
Abbott said Texans should take necessary precautions now to keep their homes, pets, and property safe from cold weather conditions.
Public Utility Commission Chairman Peter Lake and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) President and CEO Pablo Vegas also said that the state's electrical grid is “ready and reliable ahead of the cold weather event, and that the State of Texas has more power available than ever before and more backup fuel available to keep Texans' power on across the state.”
Abbott reiterated the grid would hold up.
“The grid is ready and reliable. We expect to have sufficient generation to meet demand throughout this winter weather event,” he said.
Abbott said all the changes that were made to Texas’ power supply are about “prioritizing people over profits.” He assured that the state’s generators have had scheduled maintenance to make sure they are ready to go if the need arises. ERCOT will beef up its staffing, the governor said, as power plants as high winds could bring down branches and cause isolated power outages.
Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd reminded people to cover pipes by Wednesday, if they had not already, and not to burn wood or gas in their homes without proper ventilation. He noted that carbon dioxide poisoning is the number one killer under conditions we are expecting to move in on Thursday.
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When asked about the public having trust in the system, Kidd said:
“Trust needs to be earned. We did that by going through this past summer with an all-time demand -- 11 times—and meeting it,” he said. “I think trust will be earned over the next few days. The grid will be able to perform with ease.”
Abbott said the state of Texas will have emergency response personnel available around the clock. If you experience a power outage, contact your power provider.
Here are a few important resources to bookmark:
- For cold weather resources, visit tdem.texas.gov/disasters/december-2022-winter-weather
- For warming center information, visit tdem.texas.gov/warm
- To monitor local outages, visit puc.texas.gov/storm