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(DALLAS) — A dangerous winter storm is dropping snow, sleet and ice in Texas, knocking out power and suspending operations at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott warned Thursday, “We are dealing with one of the most significant icing events … in at least several decades.”
Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for 17 counties expected to see the worst impacts from the ice.
Abbott blamed the ice for knocking out power to at least 50,000 customers.
Abbott said 12,000 linemen will be working on the power issues.
State officials are urging residents to stay home as ice and snow accumulate on roads.
The temperature also poses danger. On Friday the wind chill — what temperature it feels like — is expected to plunge to the single digits in Dallas and below zero in the Texas Panhandle.
This storm comes one year after Texas’ power grid disaster, when back-to-back winter storms left more than 4 million people without heat and safe water. It took days for power to be restored, and more than 100 people died because of subsequent blackouts. Months later, Abbott signed a bill to reform the state’s power grid.
At a Thursday news conference Abbott stressed that the grid is reliable and said, “the power grid is performing very well at this time.”
Texas has about 15% more power generation capacity compared to last year, Abbott said, adding that 99% of power generators have passed inspection this year.
He said there’s several days worth of natural gas in storage should the weather hinder the flow of natural gas.
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