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Governor Abbott declares power system winterization, related funding as emergency items, provides update on winter weather response

Last updated on February 18, 2021

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AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today provided an update on the state’s response to winter weather and power outages. As part of his update, the Governor declared a new emergency item for this legislative session. The Governor is asking the Legislature to mandate the winterization of Texas’ power system and for the Legislature to ensure the necessary funding for winterization. 

In addition, the Governor announced he is requesting a Major Disaster Declaration — which includes Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program — from the White House. This declaration will allow eligible Texans to apply for assistance to help address broken pipes and related property damage. The Governor previously requested a Federal Emergency Declaration from the White House which was granted on Sunday.

Power has been restored to nearly 2 million homes across Texas since yesterday’s briefing. This number continues to climb, and there are no more outages due to a lack of generation. Every available repair truck in Texas has been dispatched to address downed power lines that are causing continued outages. Earlier today, the Governor held calls with power and water providers to develop strategies that will increase access to additional power, as well as restore water and expedite additional clean water in communities across the state.

The state is also working to distribute food, water, generators, and additional supplies to Texas communities. Additionally, more warming centers continue to be established every day. For winter weather resources, including a map of warming centers and ways to help Texans in need, visit:

“The past several days have been beyond challenging, but with every passing hour we are restoring power and water for families across Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “We are doing all we can to make it through this challenge, and the state continues to deploy resources and personnel throughout the state. I want to thank the men and women who are working around the clock in harsh conditions to get the power up and running again, and I ask all Texans to keep them in their prayers. Texans should continue to take proper precautions and follow local guidance to stay safe and warm. We will get through this together.”   

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