Requests Major Disaster Declaration From White House
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today provided an update from the Alternate State Operations Center on the severe winter weather that is impacting the State of Texas. The Governor noted that snow and ice are expected throughout Texas for the next few days and ultra-low temperatures will linger throughout the upcoming week — meaning that many road closures and extremely dangerous conditions are expected. The Governor also announced that he will request a Federal Emergency Declaration from the White House to make additional resources available for communities impacted by this weather event.
“Every part of the state will face freezing conditions over the coming days, and I urge all Texans to remain vigilant against the extremely harsh weather that is coming,” said Governor Abbott. “Stay off the roads, take conscious steps to conserve energy, and avoid dangerous practices like bringing generators indoors or heating homes with ovens or stovetops. Our emergency response to this winter weather requires a collective approach between state agencies, local officials, and Texans throughout our communities to ensure the safety and security of the Lone Star State.”
The Governor addressed power and energy concerns on Monday and Tuesday. Power companies already have crews in place, and other states have deployed power crews to Texas to assist in potential power outages. The Texas Railroad Commission has suspended regulations to ensure churches, hospitals, residences, and other human resource facilities have access to gas throughout the winter weather event. The State of Texas is asking Texans to begin conserving energy now to ensure power and energy are available early next week by unplugging devices when not in use, closing windows and blinds, and adjusting thermostats to 68 degrees or below. The Governor and Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd also discussed the increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in such conditions and urged Texans to avoid heating their homes with ovens or stovetops and only use generators or grills outdoors and away from windows.
Local officials have established 34 warming centers in communities across the state and sent numerous vehicles, wreckers, ambulances, and personnel to assist in stranded motor operations and community support. Governor Abbott urged Texans to stay off the roads if they can and immediately call 800-525-5555 for roadside assistance if they become stranded on the road. The Texas Department of Public Safety has activated over 3,000 troopers that are working 24/7 to assist communities with their response. The Texas Military Department has also deployed Guardsmen to perform welfare checks in remote areas of the state. Previously, the Governor issued a disaster declaration for all 254 counties and deployed a number of resources throughout the state to assist local officials in their response. Governor Abbott also ordered the Texas State Operations Center (SOC) to expand its daily operations to 24-hours a day through the end of next week. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) began pre-treating roads this past Tuesday and will continue to treat roads in the coming days.