Gov. Abbott warns Texans to brace for winter storm ‘unprecedented in Texas history’
‘What becomes frozen will remain frozen,” governor says
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Saturday reminded Texans the state “is facing a very dangerous winter storm over the next few days” and warned freezing conditions and record snowfall accumulation in some parts of the state will “make movement virtually impossible.”
Abbott said the high temperature in most parts of the state over the next few days will be in the single digits.
“What becomes frozen will remain frozen for a long period of time,” the governor said.
On Friday, the governor issued a disaster declaration for all 254 counties in the state.
“Every part of Texas will face freezing conditions,” Abbott said, adding the storm is “unprecedented in Texas history and people across the state need to get ready for the extremely harsh conditions coming.”
The governor said all 25 regions of the Texas Department of Transportation are already working “24-7 around the clock to address challenges in those regions.”
While TxDOT crews are working to “treat” frozen highways and roads, Abbott warned “the effectiveness of the treatments will be limited because of the ultra low temperature.”
“The temperature will go so low and remain so low for so long, it means there will be many roads across the state that will be extremely dangerous and treacherous to drive on.”
Abbott said there is no doubt some Texans will brave the storm and eventually become stranded. He reminded all drivers the number to call can be found on the back of all Texas driver’s licenses: 1-800-525-5555.
For more information on road conditions, Texans can visit https://drivetexas.org/ or call 1-800-452-9292.
Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said, “there are no experts when it comes to driving on ice.”
McCraw reiterated the governor’s sentiment that the looming weather conditions are “unprecedented” and there will be many who have never driven on ice before and “it can be one of the most hazardous things you can do.”
“Once you lose control of your vehicle on ice, it could lead to exactly what we saw happen in Fort Worth, Texas earlier this week,” McCraw said.
Abbott said power companies already have crews in place, and other states have deployed power crews to Texas, to assist in potential power outages.
The Texas Railroad Commission has suspended regulations to ensure churches, hospitals, residences, and other human resource facilities have access to gas throughout the storm, the governor said.
The state is also urging Texans to begin conserving energy now to ensure power and energy are available early next week by unplugging devices when not in use, closing windows and blinds, and adjusting thermostats to 68 degrees or below.
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