Governor Greg Abbott mobilized the Texas Military Department in preparation for the impacts of the impending winter storm. A massive cold front is sweeping across the state and is expected to bring heavy snow and icy conditions.
Texas Military Department (TMD) officials report that members of the Texas National Guard and Air National Guard are “poised to provide support in Texas cities threatened by extreme weather conditions,” officials stated in a Thursday press conference.
Governor Abbott told reporters that TMD deployed 127 guardsmen 52 vehicles. “We will add more as needed,” the governor said.
Icy conditions are expected to cause localized power outages as accumulating precipitation brings down trees and power lines across northern Texas. Of the more than 12 million electric customers tracked by PowerOutage.us, roughly 70,000 are currently reporting outages. These are mostly located in rural areas.
ERCOT, the state’s power grid management agency, reports electricity production is currently outpacing demand. With a current demand of 63,425 megawatts, Texas energy producers are cranking out more than 84,485 megawatts — a surplus of nearly 9,000MW.
Texas Department of Emergency Management officials told Breitbart Texas that there are currently no grid-related power outages. “Current outages are localized and due to heavy ice on power lines and trees that interfere with the lines,” the official stated.
Governor Abbott stated there are currently no outages caused by generation and grid-related issues.
TMD officials have five winter weather mission packages stored in Abilene, Wichita Falls, Luling, Round Rock, and Brownwood, the governor added. These packages include18 personnel, Humvees, wreckers, and ambulances. The military also has a military district coordinator in Garland to coordinate TMD resources with needs in the North Texas region.
“The Texas military department has a battalion of mission command staged in Lubbock and they have additional resources that can be deployed as needed,” he added.
The governor cited an example where TMD resources assisted motorists stranded on Interstate 20 near Abilene.
In addition to being ready to assist Texas impacted by the winter storm, more than 10,000 Texas National Guard members are deployed under the Operation Lone Star border security mission.
“All service members working on the front lines, who are exposed to the elements in support of this mission, have been issued cold-weather gear ahead of this winter storm,” TMD officials reported. “This winter weather gear, coupled with high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles equipped with heaters, will ensure our men and women stationed at security points along the Texas-Mexico border are able to keep warm throughout this winter weather event.”
Texas Adjutant General, Major General Tracy Norris, also ordered that all base camp housing be winterized in advance of the storm. The plans include standby generators, extra fuel, and water for the facilities and troops.
“I am proud of the work the Texas guard is doing in support of our partner first responders to help our neighbors and communities throughout this winter weather event“ General Norris stated. “Be it along the Texas-Mexico border, or across Texas communities impacted by extreme winter weather, the men and women of the Texas National Guard continue to exemplify service above self.”