Power Outages Persist After Winter Storm


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Texas state agencies are gearing up to assist residents and businesses affected by the severe winter storm that froze over swaths of the Lone Star State last week.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed off on a “state of disaster” declaration on Saturday, which loosened regulations governing resource allocation and the mobilization of emergency response efforts.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, intermittent sleet and sub-freezing temperatures disrupted travel, school, and work plans for millions of Texans, with tens of thousands losing power at one point or another, some for days.

A total of seven counties were designated as being under a state of disaster, including Travis and Williamson, arguably two of the hardest-hit counties with the most multi-day power outages, according to The Texas Tribune.

The downing of tree limbs and utility poles in the Texas Hill Country weighed down by ice accumulation resulted in more power outages and temporary roadblocks than in most other parts of the state, which mostly had to contend with icy roads.

On Thursday, as the freeze began to let up, Gov. Abbott encouraged Texans who sustained property damage as a result of the winter storm to report it to the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) damage survey, which can help determine whether the extent of the damage qualifies Texas for federal disaster relief, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

The press release further advised that the damage survey is not an insurance claim nor a substitute for reporting damage to one’s insurance agency.

As of Sunday, roughly 95% of Austin residents and businesses have power. However, according to The Texas Tribune, officials are claiming that some parts of the city might not be able to turn the lights back on for another week.

The news outlet reported that Austin Energy executive Jackie Sargent apologized to energy customers on Sunday.

“I’m sorry for how long this is taking.”

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