Texans Traumatized by Deadly Power Grid Crisis Brace for Another Winter Storm

As Texas Burdened by the first major winter storm since the state’s grid was overloaded last February, residents are still wondering if they should prepare for power outages – or worse – before the disaster. disaster last year.

A Texas resident, 41 years old Demons, Talk to Dallas Morning News that he was stocking up on canned food and bottled water after a power outage for more than a week last year.

“It is true that we all have post-traumatic stress and anxiety about what could happen, but this time we are trying to be prepared,” Flock said. “I worry that it could last for days because I don’t work right now and I live day by day, saving and selling stuff, and without a job I wouldn’t be able to buy food. ”

Austin Mayor Steve Adler tell KVUE on Wednesday that he “hopes that the state grid stays in place because that was really the big deal last time.”

“But we went out and removed the branches from the protrusions on the power lines and did hundreds, hundreds of those things — not all of them done yet,” Adler said. “But it’s more than we’ve had before, and that’s one of the main problems we’ve had. The limbs freeze and they fall and then they break off. “

Governor Greg Abbott (R) has made a promise that there will be no blackouts in the state when a winter storm hits.

“No one can guarantee that there won’t be a ‘load dump event’ but what we will work and strive to achieve and what we are prepared to achieve is the strength that will remain across the board. state,” Abbott told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday.

The offloading left millions in darkness and without heat over the weekend of last year’s Presidents Day, when the Lone Star State’s independent grid was overwhelmed by a surge in demand amid freezing temperatures. and inclement weather damaged power lines. The terrible power outage has resulted in the deaths of more than 200 people, according to a December 31 report from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Abbott’s cautious comments on Tuesday were a departure from the blackout pledge he has repeated in recent months.

Last June, Abbott signed new legislation to strengthen the state’s electricity grid, the Texas Tribune reported. He touts the grid in the comments about KTBC in November, said, “I can guarantee the lights will come on.”

He made the same statement at a press conference in December, KTRK-TV reportedpromises: “The lights will be on this winter.”

The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas, which monitors the electrical grid, enact a winter storm monitors throughout Sunday and urges Texans to contact local utility agencies about blackout issues.

“On any given day, there are reasons why there can be a power outage that has nothing to do with the grid,” Abbott said.

“There are many reasons why people might lose power,” he said, naming potential culprits as fallen trees and ice build-up on power lines – problems that have nothing to do with the amount of electricity in the grid. state.

According to Abbott, peak electricity demand from the state grid is predicted for Friday. He stressed that the state was “well prepared for conditions like the present.”

Last year, Abbott was reluctant to let the state’s grid fail, instead blaming wind turbines that froze for power shortages. Then he asked to improve the ERCOT, announced In December, it completed inspections of more than 300 power generation units and 22 transmission facilities to ensure they “comply with the new, stringent winter preparedness requirements of the Texas Legislature.” “.

Texas Public Utilities Commission Chairman Peter Lake confirmed on Tuesday that power plants and transmission structures inspected by the agency were found to be “nearly universally compliant” with the standards. federal frozen.

The state’s natural gas system also came under scrutiny last year, and questions have arisen around whether natural gas companies can maintain a steady flow of gas supplies to their plants. fuel power plants during the storm or not.

Abbott said when asked about the potential issue that, “there may be some reduction in natural gas production, but the integrity of the grid must be maintained” even if there is a loss of some degree of production. some natural gas. “

“We have worked over the past year to make sure this grid is more reliable than ever, and rightfully so,” ERCOT interim CEO Brad Jones said on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service has predicted frigid conditions during the storm, which is expected to make landfall in the state Wednesday night, issuing warnings for freezing rain, as well as hail and snow, with heat. The level dropped to 20 on Thursday.

Although this week’s storm is not expected to be as severe as last year, a variety of school districts have canceled classes on Thursday and Friday, the Dallas Morning News report

Southwest Airlines also has Operation is suspended at a Dallas airport on Thursday, and American Airlines, based in Fort Worth, canceled dozens of flights starting Wednesday.

Resident Martin Martiniano, 65, told Dallas Morning News that he remembers losing water and electricity for “about a week” last year and is preparing for what is to come.

“It was really horrible, it was a very difficult time,” Martiniano said.

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