Gov. Abbott says Texas has power to meet demand; issues disaster declaration for North Texas

Power outages have remained relatively low compared to last winter’s disaster storm.    

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday asserted that the state power grid will hold up even as we approach record-breaking demand Friday morning.

"The Texas electrical grid is the most reliable and resilient it’s ever been," he said. "As compared to last year, Texas has 15% more power generation capacity. There’s also more reserve power available than last year. The grid is projected to have a surplus of more than 10,000 megawatts for peak demand tomorrow on Friday morning, which we expect to be the peak demand of the winter storm."

ERCOT says Texas will reach record demand by Friday morning. It says there’s enough energy to meet that demand and power an extra two million homes.

Part of the reason is that wind farms where turbines were expected to freeze didn’t, and they were able to produce more energy than expected.

And even if gas lines that aren’t winterized freeze, there will still be enough.

"If weather limits the flow of natural gas, we have several days of gas in storage that can be used," Abbott said.

The governor said local power providers are bringing in extra resources and crews to get any downed power lines back up.

There are more than 10,000 linemen already working for power transmission companies, plus another 2,000 are coming in from out of state to speed up repairs.

Gov. Abbott also issued a disaster declaration for 17 counties. Surprisingly, that includes most of North Texas expect for Collin County, which was one of the hardest-hit areas.

Overall, power outages haven’t been as bad as they could have been in North Texas compared to last year. 

But the worry was real for people who suffered through last year’s storm. 

Stacey Silverman's family in Grapevine and others across North Texas have had anxiety ever since hearing we were getting another dose of winter weather.

"I think we kind of have PTSD in my family because it just went on and on last year," she said.

When FOX 4 spoke with Silverman last year, she was storing groceries in boxes in her backyard and went without power for days.

This time just as the storm rolled in Wednesday night, Silverman once again found herself without power.

"Our lights started flickering, and we thought, ‘Oh my God. No. No.’ And then one in the morning, bam! No power," she said. "An hour came. I got a text back at 3 a.m. it’ll be on. I didn’t sleep all night because I was nervous. Then at three in the morning it’ll be on at 5 a.m. Then 7 in the morning. I had no faith it would be on at all."

Silverman’s power remained off for 13 hours.

Oncor said it had about 6,000 employees working across the state as ice accumulations caused tens of thousands of outages. Most were in North Texas.

When FOX 4 spoke with Amber Fuller last year, her new home was without power for multiple days.

"Literally, we're traumatized from last year just to say the least of dealing with having to restore not only our home, but a business as well," she said.

Pipes burst in both Fuller’s home and her business. This time so far, her lights in Balch Springs have stayed on.

"I'm just having my fingers crossed there. Hoping the sun just comes out and this just kind of melts away. And that's a thing of the past," she said.

RELATED: Oncor closely watching North Texas power lines as icy weather settles in