winter weather

Jenkins Signs Local Disaster Declaration, Warns Against Price Gouging Amid Power Outage

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Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins signed a local disaster declaration and an executive order Monday calling for businesses deemed non-essential to delay their opening until 10 a.m. Tuesday and for essential goods to be sold at their regular retail prices amid a historic winter storm that has left hundreds of thousands without power on a night where temperatures will drop to near zero.

Jenkins made the announcement during a joint news conference with Oncor representative Carrie Dunn, who added the provider was making repairs to damaged equipment so that they would be ready to deliver electricity to customers once ERCOT allows them to resume service.

The executive order also advised manufacturing and industrial businesses that use electricity to either close or shut down as many non-essential processes as possible Tuesday and advised Dallas County residents and businesses to set their thermostats to 68 degrees or below.

Jenkins warned against price-gouging on items like groceries, beverages, toiletries, restaurants, medicine, hotel rooms and any other lodging.

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The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which oversees the state's electric grid but does not own the transmission lines or the power generation facilities, ordered rotating, controlled power outages to keep the grid intact and to help even more people not experience longer uncontrolled blackouts.

Many people without electricity were forced to seek out warm places to stay with friends or at area hotels.

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