AUSTIN, Texas - During a press conference today, Governor Abbott said the Texas power grid continues to be reliable and fully functioning, even at peak demand.
He also said there are currently 20,000 Texans without power due to local power issues such as high winds, ice on power lines, and downed trees and branches.
Abbott went on to say that Texas will experience freezing temperatures over the next few days, but the power grid has performed well and will continue to perform well. He added that more than two dozen state agencies are continuing to work around the clock to respond to the storm.
"The Texas power grid is more reliable and resilient than it has ever been, and we are continuing to actively respond to the impact of this winter storm," said Governor Abbott.
The governor credited the grid's strength to a variety of proactive strategies including winterization, the availability of alternate fuels, the designation of natural gas facilities as critical infrastructure, and a 15% increase in power generation capacity compared to last year.
Power demand reached 69,000 MWs this morning, and the state does not expect demand to exceed that amount for the rest of this weather event. At the time of the press conference, there was still enough extra power to serve over three million additional homes in Texas.
A 2,000-mile area of snow and ice continues to crawl east creating major impacts from Texas to New England on Friday. TxDOT has reported icy roads across much of the northern and central parts of Texas, where snow and ice have fallen over the past couple of days.
Residents in Texas are encouraged to stay home and off the roads as freezing temperatures are still making the roads very icy and dangerous. Tips for residents who have to go out:
- Avoid elevated roads, such as overpasses and bridges if possible.
- Plan additional time for travel. Go slowly and carefully.
- Avoid sudden braking or accelerating to maintain traction.
- If traveling, pack emergency supplies in your vehicle such as blankets, jumper cables, emergency lights, and a cell phone charger in case of emergency.
- Residents who need to report traffic light outages, road damage or any other weather-related concerns, may do so by contacting Austin 3-1-1 via phone (dial 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000) or the Austin 311 mobile app.
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