After meeting with state leaders Thursday morning to discuss the impact of a winter storm on the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a disaster declaration for 17 counties affected by icy conditions.
The declaration will help county leaders get assistance in their various recovery efforts. The counties listed in the declaration included Bosque, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hopkins, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Lamar, Navarro, Rains, Red River, Rockwall, and Williamson.
Abbott said other counties could be added to the declaration as needed.
The governor announced the declaration after meeting with other state leaders Thursday morning to get an update on the storm and how the state's maligned power grid was holding up in its first real test since the disaster of February 2021.
So far, the grid is holding up very well through the ice storm and the only power outages are related to damaged lines and not a loss of power generation.
“The most probable cause of a power outage right now around the state of Texas for anybody who's without power is either because of heavy winds, affected lines or more likely because of an icing condition where ice itself could have brought down power lines or ice could have weighed down on trees or tree limbs that would have brought down a power line," Abbott said. "Anyone out of power at this time should call their local power provider.”
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Officials expect to have extra power capacity during the coldest parts of the storm which are expected to be Friday and Saturday mornings.
“We continue to operate the electric grid in an extremely conservative manner. We are bringing on more resources, having those resources available early, making sure that they're stabilized to continue to provide reliable service to the grid,” said Brad Jones, CEO of ERCOT.