Governor’s press conference addresses winter weather problems, provides updates

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a press conference at city hall June 2 in Dallas.

Gov. Greg Abbott and other officials held a press conference Friday to discuss the state’s efforts to aid Texans impacted by the extreme winter weather, touching on issues regarding water, power outages and fuel.   

This week’s winter storms left many without power and water, and government leaders are working to restore power and water supplies. 

Texas is providing assistance to bring water back into people’s homes and get oil refineries back online.

Waivers have been issued to remove red tape and accelerate the process of restoring water supplies, Abbott said.

He said the state has already issued a number of waivers to make sure Texans get the fuel they rely on. He also spoke to refineries directly to consider their suggestions for recovery. 

“We believe that we’re going to be able to get all the fuel online very swiftly,” Abbott said. 

The state is working closely with local leaders and emergency officials throughout the state and the Biden administration, Abbott said.  

Abbott said he spoke with President Joe Biden Thursday night to discuss the approval of Texas’ major disaster declaration.

The approval will allow individuals to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist with home repair costs that aren’t covered under private insurance.

The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners is coordinating with out-of-state plumbing companies to mediate the demand for plumbers by sending more of them to Texas, Abbott said. 

The state has already suspended some regulations on commercial, diesel-fueled vehicles to expedite the deliveries of resources to Texans, Abbott said.

W. Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, explained that shipments of water are being delivered to cities such as Houston, Austin and San Antonio via aircraft due to persistently icy road conditions.

The state continues to work with hospital systems and FEMA to provide additional ambulances and water to hospitals, Kidd said.

An online survey was released at the press conference to assess the winter storm’s impact on homes across the state.  

@4theluvuvu

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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