Harris Co. Judge Lina Hidalgo says residents need to conserve energy

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Harris Co. Judge Hidalgo says residents need to conserve energy
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said many Texans are without power and residents need to continue working to conserve energy to prevent more rolling blackouts across the state.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo urged residents to continue to conserve energy as we deal with multiple days of freezing temperatures.

Hidalgo spoke in detail about the power outages across the state, saying 1 million CenterPoint customers in the Houston area were without power due to the statewide ERCOT outages. That amount is on top of the 70,000 homes that had power knocked due to damage from the weather.

She stressed the need for residents to continue working to conserve power during the winter storm in efforts to minimize the strain on the state's energy supply. Hidalgo gave tips on how to help prevent major outages like wearing a fleece around the house to avoid raising the thermostat, and putting your family all in one room to keep heated. She reminded people that the safest place to be is in indoors and "away from the elements."

Harris Co. Judge Hidalgo said the window to prepare for the historic storm has closed. Here's the plan she provided residents with ahead of the freezing rain, sleet and snow moving

CenterPoint Energy's Jason Ryan joined Hidalgo during a press conference on Monday afternoon to provide an update on what the company is doing to restore power to Texans.

"When the storm came through, we had minor damage that caused 70,000 customers to be out of power around noon [Monday]," Ryan said.

He also urged customers to be patient, saying it could be days before power is restored.

Hidalgo spoke briefly on cases of carbon monoxide poisoning across the county, warning people looking to heat their homes of the dangers.

As of Monday evening, all of southeast Texas continued to be impacted by extreme cold weather.

On Sunday, Hidalgo announced a Disaster Declaration for Harris County.

She also urged that the prolonged extreme cold will cause pipes to burst, potential power outages and dangerous outdoor conditions.

"The declaration will allow our emergency officials the flexibility to prepare and respond to the situation," she said.

She also ordered the emergency center at TranStar to activate to a level one, the highest level, "to ensure we are ready to fully coordinate and respond across the county."