Governor Abbott mobilizes resources to answer big freeze coming to Texas

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Texas Governor Greg Abbott is mobilizing state resources to be ready for freezing temperatures statewide over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend and into next week.

Governor Abbott provided an update on the State of Texas’ response to severe winter weather conditions expected to impact large portions of Texas this weekend into next week following a briefing with state officials at the State Operations Center in Austin. Texans in the North, Central, and South regions of the state should prepare for below freezing temperatures, wind-chills, freezing rain, strong wind, and icing conditions through Wednesday.

“The State of Texas is working tirelessly to keep Texans safe and warm as an extraordinarily cold weather system begins to impact our state,” said Governor Abbott. “Texans are urged to be prepared for a multi-long period of extreme cold weather and avoid going outside until this winter storm system has passed. I also encourage motorists to stay off the roads. If driving is necessary, motorists are encouraged to remain cautious and check DriveTexas.org to receive the most up-to-date road conditions. I want to thank state and local officials who will brave the severe weather to keep their fellow Texans safe.”

Governor Abbott was joined at the press conference by Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) President and CEO Pablo Vegas, Railroad Commission of Texas Commissioner Christi Craddick, Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd, Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Marc Williams, and Public Utility Commission Chairwomen Kathleen Jackson. During the update, the Governor urged Texans to remain weather-aware, avoid going outside in freezing temperatures unless absolutely necessary, and utilize warming centers. Governor Abbott also emphasized that with these freezing temperatures, Texans should begin taking action today or tomorrow to prevent pipes from bursting.

Mr. Vegas discussed ERCOT’s ongoing communication with other energy grids servicing East and West Texas and the Panhandle and asked Texans to report any power outages to their local providers. Mr. Vegas and Chairwoman Craddick also informed Texans that the state’s electric grid and natural gas supply is better prepared than it has ever been before and will remain reliable over the course of this severe winter weather event. Chairwoman Craddick reminded Texans to remain safe when using natural gas, asking Texans to avoid using propane tanks and generators inside a home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, Chief Kidd advised Texans to check their emergency supplies and to have plenty of food stocked up.

Earlier this week, Governor Abbott directed TDEM to increase the readiness level of the Texas State Operations Center to Level II (Escalated Response). The Governor also directed TDEM last week to mobilize state emergency response resources as winter weather began impacting large portions of Texas.

Texas can check road conditions at DriveTexas.org and locate cold weather resources by visiting tdem.texas.gov/disasters/january-2024-winter-weather.

For warming center information, visit tdem.texas.gov/warm

To monitor local outages and report any outages to local providers, visit puc.texas.gov/storm

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