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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.

Go deeper

In photos: Winter emergency in Texas

A line outside a Fiesta Mart grocery store in Houston, Texas, Feb. 17. Texans have been running out of food and other supplies, and the cold weather has "wiped out" the state's citrus and vegetable crops, the Texas Tribune reports. Photo: Thomas Shea/AFP via Getty Images

Millions of Americans are still without power during the winter weather emergency that's sweeping the U.S. — including nearly 1.8 million Texans, per utility tracker poweroutage.us. Some have also lost water services.

The big picture: Texas has been particularly badly hit by the deadly storm, with infrastructure damaged and pipes frozen. Officials told some 7 million Texans Wednesday to boil tap water before drinking it.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Feb 17, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The changing climate for U.S. power

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The crisis gripping Texas' power grid is very different from California's fiery emergencies in recent years, but there's connective tissue there: Electricity grids and infrastructure need to be better equipped for a changing climate or they can have deadly consequences.

Driving the news: Texas is reeling after a bitter blast of Arctic air and a related demand surge led to widespread outages, causing millions of customers to lose power that as of this morning is only partially restored.

Abbott: Texas power agency "opaque" about restoration

Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool via Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has not provided information on which geographic locations will regain power, calling the agency "opaque."

Why it matters: A freezing winter storm has led to power outages for more than two million households in Texas.