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Abbott Urges Texans to Stay Off Roads, Conserve Energy Ahead of Winter Weather



Texas – The White House on Sunday approved a Federal Emergency Declaration for Texas as parts of the state face several inches of snow and dangerously low temperatures that are forecast to drop into the single digits.

The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide emergency measures for mass care and sheltering.

“I thank President Biden for quickly issuing a Federal Emergency Declaration for Texas as we continue to respond to severe winter weather throughout the state,” Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said in a statement. “This disaster declaration provides Texas with additional resources and assistance that will help our communities respond to this winter weather.

The federal aid comes on the heels of a disaster declaration Abbott issued Friday for all 254 Texas counties.

Texans are urged to stay off the roads as much as possible and to help conserve energy over the next few days as severe winter weather makes its way into the state, Abbott said Saturday.

As part of the declaration, Abbott ordered the Texas State Operations Center to expand to daily, 24-hour operations through the end of next week.

Abbott said there had been more than 1,000 crashes in the state since Thursday, which resulted in 10 deaths. He also asked people to conserve energy as much as possible in an effort to avoid outages due to demand.

“We’re facing extreme demand on the system,” Public Utility Commission Chair DeAnn Walker said.

Though she said they’re working to address it, she asked all Texans to be proactive to prevent outages.

Ways she suggested Texans could conserve energy included keeping their thermostats at 68 degrees or below, to keep shades and blinds closed to keep heat in, to unplug electronic devices not in use and to avoid using large appliances, like a dishwasher, washer or dryer in the morning or evening.

Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd also warned about the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which he said happens more frequently during cold weather events.

He urged Texans to avoid heating their homes with ovens or stovetops and to only use generators or grills outdoors and away from windows.