Feb 18, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Power restored to 2 million homes in Texas

People shoveling snow off a sidewalk in McKinney, Texas, on Feb. 17.

People shoveling snow off a sidewalk in McKinney, Texas, on Feb. 17. Photo: Cooper Neill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nearly 2 million homes across Texas had their power restored on Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced.

Why it matters: Approximately 325,000 Texans remain without electricity after a winter storm brought single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chill to most of Texas this week.

What they're saying: "As of this afternoon there are no residential power outages due to lack of power generation," Abbott said in a tweet.

  • "If any residence doesn’t have power it is due to downed power lines or the need for the power company to manually reconnect. If you don’t have power contact your local power provider."

The big picture: The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the power grid that covers most of the state, said Thursday that the grid almost suffered a catastrophic failure that could have caused uncontrolled blackouts that may have left residents without power for months, the Texas Tribune reports.

  • At least 16 deaths have been linked to the harsh weather, and roughly 13.5 million people are facing water disruptions, including millions under boil-water notices, according to CNN.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Norris Cochran has declared a public health emergency for the state of Texas due to the winter storms, with actions and flexibilities retroactive to Feb. 11.

What's next: Temperatures are expected to rise on Friday, though ice on bridges and overpasses may remain a threat through late Sunday into Monday.

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