EnergyStatewide NewsState Deploying Emergency Resources, Including National Guard, Abbott Announces

The National Guard will be conducting welfare checks as well as helping local authorities transport vulnerable residents to warm shelter.
February 15, 2021
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In a press statement on Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the State of Texas is deploying “maximum resources” to local communities to help respond to power outages.

“State agencies are sending resources and personnel to help local officials clear roadways and to assist essential workers, such as healthcare professionals and power grid workers, in carrying out their essential duties,” the press release stated. 

“Furthermore, [Abbott] and the Texas Military Department have deployed National Guard across Texas to conduct welfare checks and to assist local authorities in transitioning Texans in need to one of the 135 local warming centers that the state has helped established (sic) across Texas.”

The announcement went on to list some of the measures the state is taking to mitigate the fallout from the power grid’s inability to meet the demand brought about by the winter storm.

  • The Texas Department of Public Safety has dispatched 3,300 officers and patrol vehicles.
  • The Texas Military Department has deployed 540 individuals, 168 “high mobility multi-wheeled vehicles,” four field light ambulances, and 16 wreckers, divided into six “winter weather packages.”
  • The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has sent 585 individuals, 531 four by four vehicles, 50 unmanned aircraft systems, one aircraft, and nine canine units.
  • The Texas A&M Forest Service has deployed 83 persons, six motor graders, and 58 four by four vehicles.
  • The Texas Department of Transportation has provided 2,314 workers, 695 snowplows, 188 loaders, 55 motor graders, and 757 four by four vehicles.
  • The Texas Emergency Medical Task Force has deployed one ambus — a large ambulance that can treat many patients at once — and one ambulance strike team in addition to four “severe weather packages” that consist of one task force leader, one medical incident support team, one ambus, and one ambulance strike team each.

Abbott emphasized that the state, including the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), is working as fast as it can to restore power.

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“In the meantime, I encourage all Texans to continue to stay off the roads, and conserve energy as state agencies work with private providers to restore power as quickly as possible,” the governor said.

Abbott had said on social media earlier in the day that the Texas power grid “has not been compromised,” and that ERCOT and PUC are focusing on restoring power to residential areas.

The governor indicated on Monday afternoon that providers were restoring power to at least 500,000 people and that he anticipated more in the following hours.

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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan. He has coached high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.