Gov. Abbott urges power conservation, says demand may exceed supply

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Governor Greg Abbott is asking all Texans to start conserving the energy inside of their homes beginning on Sunday to brace for possible power outages during the expected winter storm.

In a press conference on Saturday, Abbott gave residents a few tips on small things they could do around their homes to help prevent major power loss around the state.

He said starting now, residents can set their thermostats to 68 degrees or lower, especially if they don't plan to be home for that time. Also, closing your shades and blinds can reduce the amount of heat that leaves your home.

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Abbott also said he planned to request a federal emergency declaration from the White House ahead of severe winter weather.



Turning off and unplugging non-essential items around your home could be helpful in preventing your outlets from surging. Its also recommended for residents to not use major home appliances like a dishwasher or washing machine.

In addition to these tips, Abbott said he had plans to request a federal emergency disaster declaration from the White House.

He said that the state of Texas is simply not prepared to face the effects of freezing rain and that even the most experienced drivers may face difficulties on the road.

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"Every part of the state will face freezing conditions over the coming days, and I urge all Texans to remain vigilant against the extremely harsh weather that is coming," said Abbott. "Stay off the roads, take conscious steps to conserve energy, and avoid dangerous practices like bringing generators indoors or heating homes with ovens or stovetops. Our emergency response to this winter weather requires a collective approach between state agencies, local officials, and Texans throughout our communities to ensure the safety and security of the Lone Star State."

Additionally, he announced that business conducted by the Texas Railroad Commission has been suspended to ensure churches, hospitals, residences, and other human resource facilities can access gas during that time.

On Friday, Abbott issued a disaster declaration in all 254 counties in response to severe winter weather that is impacting Texas.

The governor is continuing to deploy state resources available to assist local officials in their response efforts. The Texas State Operations Center (SOC) has been ordered to operate for 24 hours a day through the end of next week.

SEE ALSO: ABC13 answers your top winter weather questions

At the direction of the governor, the Texas Division of Emergency Management has deployed the following state resources to support winter weather response operations:

  • Texas Department of Transportation: Winter weather roadway preparation equipment and response crews as well as road condition monitoring.

  • Texas Highway Patrol, Texas Department of Public Safety: Courtesy patrols to assist stranded motorists along major travel corridors.

  • Texas Military Department: Winter weather equipment and personnel to support Amarillo, Wichita Falls, Abilene, Fort Worth, and Waco to assist in stranded motorist operations.


  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Four wheel drive vehicles and personnel to assist with stranded motorists along major travel corridors.

  • Texas A&M Forest Service: Motor graders and personnel to assist with snow/ice clearance and saw crews to assist with removal of downed trees.

  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, Texas Task Force 1: Search and rescue equipment and teams.

  • Public Utility Commission of Texas: Monitoring and reporting of power outages and monitoring of any issues impacting the power generation capability in the state.

  • Texas Animal Health Commission: Response equipment and personnel to address livestock concerns due to frigid temperatures.


  • WATCH: Witness describes icy crash on Magnolia overpass
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    A high school sophomore was one of several involved in the Friday morning pileup on a Montgomery County overpass as a thin sheet of ice made traveling nearly impossible.

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