Last year, Texans saw an unprecedented winter storm hit their state with fury, and to make matter worse, the energy capital of the nation was not prepared to keep their households powered up while freezing temperatures devastated the state.
After the deathly freeze took the lives of hundreds of people, people expected Texas officials to take matters into their own hands in order to prevent a tragedy such as this one to happen again. Up until recently, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had promised that everything would be all right, but as the winter approached, the governor changed his mind and two days ago he said that “No one can guarantee” that there won’t be power outages as state braces for freezing weather. And no one could.
This morning, nearly 70,000 Texas households were left without power as a major winter storm continued to move east across the United States, bringing snow, sleet, and freezing rain to Midwestern and Southern states, according to Washington Post.
Travel is largely becoming impossible, airlines have already canceled around 5,550 flights, many of them in the Texas area. Texas Department of Transportation already issued a warning to avoid travel on the I-35 road due to heavy weather.
Brad Jones, CEO of Texas’ power grid operator, said he expects electricity demand to peak around 8 a.m. Friday and set a new record for demand during the winter, according to The Texas Tribune. Jones added that this year the state has a much larger cushion of power and that there shouldn’t be widespread outages.
On the other hand, Oncor, one of Texas’s largest transmission and delivery utilities, has an alert posted on its website, stating that its personnel has been working since the winter storm’s arrival and they have out-of-state utility partners supporting restoration efforts. They also mention they have personnel working 24 hours a day, as long as weather conditions allow them to.