Gov. Rick Perry absent during winter emergency

February 3, 2011 8:33:04 AM PST
One notable Texan quietly left the state before the ice and rolling blackouts wreaked havoc: Gov. Rick Perry. Acting as governor in his place is Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who presides over the state Senate and will take over Perry's duties until the governor Perry returns on Sunday night, aides to Dewhurst said. Perry's office did not immediately return a phone call seeking information about Perry's whereabouts. He is scheduled to be in California on Sunday, aides have said previously.

The state was hit with rolling power blackouts Wednesday after the electrical grid experienced peak demand and diminished capacity at two power plants. Authorities are asking residents to conserve energy to avoid more blackouts Thursday.