Monday, May 10, 2021

Millions without power as winter weather blasts the US

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Houston Mayor's office
Houston Mayor’s office

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, speaking at an afternoon news conference today, said power outages are a major concern for the city.

“The main issue for right now are the power outages that are taking place throughout our state,” he said.

Turner said a number of generator plants have been taken offline in various parts of the state due to frozen-over wind turbines and a nuclear plant also had to be taken offline due to hazardous weather conditions. 

“My number one concern right now are the power outages and that is not something we here at the city control—that is not within our control, but it is impacting a lot of people throughout the state of Texas, specifically in the Houston region,” Turner said.

“It is a systemwide failure across the state,” the mayor said as he explained that the state entity Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) controls most of the state electric grid.

Turner said he’s aware of the social media chatter asking him to turn on the heat but adds that that isn’t under his purview, “that’s on the state level and that’s creating a great deal of power outages.”

Shortly after Turner’s news conference, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that the Texas power grid has not been compromised.

“The ability of some companies that generate the power has been frozen. This includes the natural gas & coal generators,” Abbott tweeted adding that ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission of Texas are working to get power back online, prioritizing residential consumers.

ERCOT said a combination of high demand and failures at generating sites are to blame for the prolonged outages.

CNN’s Jeremy Grisham contributed to this reporting.

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