Thursday afternoon, Governor Greg Abbott and emergency officials held a press conference to provide another update on power and water outages.
According to Abbott, 350,000 Texans continue to go without power; however, the state anticipates every Texan will start tonight’s freeze with power.
Abbott vowed to return everyone to a sense of normalcy and to take the steps necessary to get answers on how and why Texas experienced such significant failures in the power system.
“What happened this week to our fellow Texans is unacceptable,” Abbott said, “And cannot be replicated.”
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has rescinded its instructions for local service providers to implement rotating outages.
The state’s energy generators are reportedly back online and providing sufficient power.
Abbott said those still suffering from outages are the result of downed powerlines and other infrastructure-related issues.
According to Abbott, every available repair truck has been dispatched to help fix power issues caused by the ice storm.
During the conference, Abbott also discussed the state’s current water issues and his efforts.
Abbott said he has met with organizations to brainstorm ideas and action plans to get more power and water to Texans as the final round of winter weather moves through Austin.
Currently, the governor is working on waivers, emergency items, and executive orders to help.
“First, I’m asking the legislature to mandate the winterization of generators in the power system,” Abbott said regarding his newest emergency items for the Texas Legislature. “Second, I’m calling for the funding needed to ensure that this winterization and modernization occurs.”
State officials said the state will be distributing meals ready to eat and water in coordination with city and county governments.
Toby Baker, Executive Director of Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, 797 water systems throughout the state are reporting some sort of issues; 725 of those are under a boil water notice, which affects approximately 13 Million Texans.
Baker said the state is working with local water utilities to bring them back on hand; once the integrity of the systems is restored, water samples will be sent to labs for bacterial analysis before the boil water notices can be lifted.
The boil water notices are a precaution in the event the system has been compromised due to a water main break or other issues.
“Everyone knows how challenging the past few days have been for our fellow Texans,” Abbott said. “I want everyone to know that all of us in the state of Texas believe it is completely unacceptable that you had to endure one minute of the challenge that you faced.”