For many Texans, a palpable and frustrating sense of déjà vu settled in after a winter storm left thousands without power. Though the circumstances surrounding this storm, as opposed to Uri, are quite different, that’s little comfort to those without heat or electricity.
As of Thursday morning, 400,000 Texans are without power. Many of those outages are concentrated in Austin, where thousands are going on a full day without power. Austin Energy is also warning that for some power might not be back until 6:00 p.m. Friday, February 3rd.
Unlike Uri when the power grid failed, these outages are the result of downed power lines, which could be weighed down by ice or snapped from falling tree limbs. Austinites have been extremely frustrated by what they consider a lack of communication from state and local leadership regarding the outages.
Abbott took to Twitter to swiftly defend the power grid, and he didn’t reschedule planned pro-charter school speeches during the storm. On Wednesday, he also appeared in Houston at a Governor’s panel for NAPE Expo, a major event that attracts the energy industry.
School districts from Travis to Denton County are on their third day of closures, and across many parts of Texas local services remain shuttered. Authorities also urged caution for drivers who must be on the roads.
Thursday, February 2nd 5:35 p.m.
Travis County officials provided another update regarding power restoration, saying they have crews working around the clock. 150,000 remain without power. Austin Water says all plants are performing normally.
Thursday, February 2nd 7:00 p.m.
Austin ISD and several other Central Texas districts will remain closed Friday
Friday, February 3rd 7:15 a.m.
Dallas ISD announces they will be closed today (had previously said they were under a two-hour delay). There are widespread accidents in North Texas due to ice; officials urge caution.
This story will continue to be updated