Gov. Abbott issues disaster declaration in 17 counties, reassures stability of Texas power grid

As winter weather continues to make its way through Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration on Feb. 3 across 17 counties that are expected to be most affected by the icy conditions over the next few days. (Courtesy Texas Division of Emergency Management)
As winter weather continues to make its way through Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration on Feb. 3 across 17 counties that are expected to be most affected by the icy conditions over the next few days. (Courtesy Texas Division of Emergency Management)

As winter weather continues to make its way through Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration on Feb. 3 across 17 counties that are expected to be most affected by the icy conditions over the next few days. (Courtesy Texas Division of Emergency Management)

As winter weather continues to make its way through Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration on Feb. 3 across 17 counties that are expected to be most affected by the icy conditions over the next few days.

The disaster declaration aims to expedite the deployment of necessary resources throughout the state to cope with the storm. The following counties are included in the declaration: Bosque, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hopkins, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Lamar, Navarro, Rains, Red River, Rockwall and Williamson.

"The state of Texas has deployed a plethora of resources to ensure our communities have the support they need to respond to the storm," Abbott said during a Feb. 3 press conference.

Additionally, Abbott, along with officials with the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, reported the Texas power grid is "fully functioning" and "continues to be reliable" as of the Feb. 3 press conference. Due to the state's recent winterization efforts, Abbott said even at expected peak demand for power, the state should still have more than 10,000 megawatts of extra capacity, or enough power to supply about 2 million homes.

Additionally, the Railroad Commission of Texas also suspended all scheduled maintenance of natural gas resources out of an abundance of caution.


"Texas is experiencing one of the most significant ice events in decades, but we have taken unprecedented steps to ensure that our power grid continues to function reliably despite treacherous weather conditions," Abbott said.

While the state has received reports of localized power outages due to the ice and heavy winds as of Feb. 3, power providers are working to address outages by providing additional resources. More than 10,000 workers are already on the ground to assist with power issues, and nearly 2,000 more are being deployed from out of state. To access statewide power line safety reports and contact power providers, click here.

As inclement weather is expected over the next several days, travel continues to be discouraged, though the Texas Department of Transportation has transitioned from pretreatment of roads to clearing and deicing. Road conditions can be monitored statewide by clicking here; stranded motorists can call 800-525-5555 for assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Additionally, in the event of a pipe break occurring, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality urged residents to turn the water off on their street and report it to their water provider immediately. For more information on how to turn water off in the event of a line break, click here.

Finally, the Texas Division of Emergency Management reported there are 185 warming centers opening across the state with 156 on standby. For more information on statewide winter storm resources, click here.

"As we continue to face freezing temperatures, precipitation, and other dangerous elements, I urge Texas to be prepared and heed the guidance of their local officials as we all work together to keep people safe," Abbott said.
By Hannah Zedaker

Editor, Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Hannah joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor of the Spring/Klein edition and later became the editor of both the Spring/Klein and Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood editions in June 2021. Hannah covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Hannah served as associate editor of The Houstonian, interned with Community Impact Newspaper and spent time writing for the Sam Houston State University College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication and The Huntsville Item.