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Austin, Texas, on Monday. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing on Wednesday that the Biden administration is sending emergency generators to Texas amid ongoing power outages and freezing weather.

Why it matters: Huge swaths of Texas have been without electricity for days due to critical failures in the state's power grid. The outages come while a winter storm continues to pummel the state, causing unsafe conditions and a desperate need for heat.

  • "FEMA has supplied generators to Texas and is preparing to move diesel on to the state to ensure the continued availability of backup power," said Psaki.
  • "FEMA is also supplying Texas with water and blankets at their request," she added.
  • President Biden declared a state of emergency in Texas over the weekend.

The big picture: Outages are also affecting Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas and Oklahoma, per the Washington Post. Over a dozen deaths have been attributed to the situation.

Go deeper

Texas governor calls for emergency probe into state's power grid

Pike Electric service trucks in Fort Worth, Texas on Feb. 16. Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called for an investigation into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on Tuesday, in the wake of a statewide power outage that has affected millions during a historic winter storm.

Why it matters: Over 3 million customers in Texas are still without power, as more freezing rain, sleet, and snow is forecast for western Texas until 9 p.m. CST, per the National Weather Service.

2 dead and millions without power in Texas as winter storm sweeps U.S.

Workers clear snow from a parking lot in Midland, Texas, U.S, on Monday. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Texas city of Abilene has had all of its water services shut off, as a deadly winter storm continues to pummel the state.

The latest: Over 4 million people across Texas were without power early Tuesday, as most of the state faced single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chill, according to the national utility tracker poweroutage.us.

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.