Millions remain without power as Texans brace for more calamity
Across the state, millions of Texans remain without power. The situation is dire in Texas as temperatures plunged below zero in most of the state.
Several lawmakers including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner are also demanding answers from the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Governor Greg Abbott.
WFAA-TV, a local ABC affiliate in DFW, has been collecting stories from residents around North Texas. They directly asked ERCOT and Oncor, a transmission and distribution electrical utility, about the situation. “We are getting hundreds of reports of dire situations. Are those part of the controlled outages? When can people expect to have their power restored if they’ve been out for that long?” asked WFAA on Twitter.
This disaster has prompted a renewed look into ERCOT. A 2011 Texas Tribune article explained how Texas came to have its own electrical grid: essentially to avoid federal regulation. Last Friday, ERCOT maintained that there would be enough power to weather the frigid temperatures and emergency procedures would not be carried out. By Sunday, ERCOT was indicating otherwise. And Monday, the rotating outages started happening around the state.
In many parts of Texas, residents are also getting warnings about the water supply. In areas of Tarrant County, including a portion of Fort Worth, a boil water notice has been issued. The city of Abilene also warned residents about a water shutdown because of outages at three water treatment plants.