AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Monday that the State of Texas is deploying maximum resources to local officials throughout the state to respond to severe winter weather and to restore power to Texas communities.
State agencies are sending resources and personnel to help local officials clear roadways and to assist essential workers, such as healthcare professionals and power grid workers, in carrying out their essential duties.
Furthermore, Abbott and the Texas Military Department have deployed National Guard across Texas to conduct welfare checks and to assist local authorities in transitioning Texans in need to one of the 135 local warming centers that the state has helped established across Texas.
On Sunday, Abbott sought and received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Energy that allows Texas power generators to increase production. Some of those generators are unable to increase production at this time because their operations have been frozen by weather conditions. They are working to get their power production back on line.
“Due to the severe weather and freezing temperatures across our state, many power companies have been unable to generate power, whether it’s from coal, natural gas, or wind power,” Abbott said. “ERCOT and the PUC are working non-stop to restore power supply. The state has also deployed resources to assist Texans without power and to help essential workers continue to carry out their jobs.
"In the meantime, I encourage all Texans to continue to stay off the roads, and conserve energy as state agencies work with private providers to restore power as quickly as possible.”
Among the resources that have been deployed include:
- Texas Department of Public Safety: 3,300 Troopers and 3,300 patrol vehicles responding statewide to events in areas adversely affected by winter weather.
- Texas Military Department: 6 Winter Weather Packages consisting of 90 personnel, 28 High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicles, 1 Field Light Ambulance, and 4 Wreckers.
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: 585 personnel, 531 4x4 vehicles, 50 UAS, 1 aircraft and 9 K9 teams.
- Texas A&M Forest Service: 83 personnel, 6 Motor Graders, and 58 4x4’s.
- Texas Department of Transportation: 2,314 personnel, 695 snowplows, 188 loaders, 55 Motor Graders and 757 4x4 vehicles.
- Texas Emergency Medical Task Force: 1 AMBUS and 1 Ambulance Strike Team and 4 Severe Weather Packages consisting of 1 Task Force Leader, 1 MIST,1 AMBUS and 1 Ambulance Strike Team each on stand-by.
ERCOT’s ability to provide power has been limited by the ability of private power generators of all sources, including natural gas, wind, and solar, to generate power for the grid. To avoid large scale blackouts and damage to the grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas began implementing outages to preserve the integrity of the power grid while the companies that generate power work to restore power generation.
Previously, Abbott issued a disaster declaration in all 254 counties, deployed resources throughout the state, and ordered the Texas State Operations Center (SOC) to expand its daily operations to 24-hours a day.
Abbott also previously requested a Federal Emergency Declaration for Texas in response to the severe winter weather, which was granted by the Biden administration.