Gov. Abbott deploys additional resources to respond to winter weather

Greg Abbott
Posted at 4:47 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 17:47:44-05

AUSTIN, TX — Governor Greg Abbott has deployed additional resources to respond to severe winter weather that's impacting the entire state.

In a press release, the governor's office said state agencies are sending resources and personnel to assist local officials in clearing roadways. State officials are also assisting local essential workers, such as healthcare professionals and power grid workers.

The governor and the Texas Military Department have deployed the National Guard across Texas to conduct welfare checks and transport in-need Texans to warming centers.

On Sunday, Gov. Abbott received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Energy to allow Texas power generators to increase production. However, some generators are unable to increase production because their operatios have been frozen.

“Due to the severe weather and freezing temperatures across our state, many power companies have been unable to generate power, whether it’s from coal, natural gas, or wind power,” said Governor Abbott. “ERCOT and the PUC are working non-stop to restore power supply. The state has also deployed resources to assist Texans without power and to help essential workers continue to carry out their jobs. In the meantime, I encourage all Texans to continue to stay off the roads, and conserve energy as state agencies work with private providers to restore power as quickly as possible.”

The following resources have been deployed, according to the governor's office:

  • Texas Department of Public Safety: 3,300 Troopers and 3,300 patrol vehicles responding statewide to events in areas adversely affected by winter weather
  • Texas Military Department: 6 Winter Weather Packages consisting of 90 personnel, 28 High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicles, 1 Field Light Ambulance, and 4 Wreckers
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: 585 personnel, 531 4x4 vehicles, 50 UAS, 1 aircraft and 9 K9 teams
  • Texas A&M Forest Service: 83 personnel, 6 Motor Graders, and 58 4x4’s
  • Texas Department of Transportation: 2,314 personnel, 695 snowplows, 188 loaders, 55 Motor Graders and 757 4x4 vehicles
  • Texas Emergency Medical Task Force: 1 AMBUS and 1 Ambulance Strike Team and 4 Severe Weather Packages consisting of 1 Task Force Leader, 1 MIST,1 AMBUS and 1 Ambulance Strike Team each on stand-by

ERCOT'S power production has been limited "by the ability of private power generators of all sources, including natural gas, wind and solar, to generate power for the grid." ERCOT officials have begun implementing outages to protect the grid as companies work to restore power generation.

Gov. Abbott issued a disaster declaration for all 254 counties. He also requested a Federal Emergency Declaration for Texas, which was granted by the Biden administration.