A winter storm dropping snow and ice, which has also sent temperatures plunging has hit Texas. The deadly storm has crashed power supplies and people are battling the low temperatures with no heat and electricity. However, it highlighted how frozen wind turbines are to be blamed for the blackouts.
Please call Denmark, we can help! ☎️— Anders Adamsen (@anderspreben) February 17, 2021
Governor Abbott of Texas blame frozen #wind turbines for winter power outages. A bit strange how well they work here in -20˚C (-4˚F) during the neighborhood walk 🤔#Renewable | #Energy | #Copenhagen ♻️ pic.twitter.com/8u3p6k1Uta
Officials in Houston had warned people to prepare for outages and hazardous roads. Earlier, this week, nearly 120 crashes, including a 10-car pileup on I-45, were reported. Bob Oravec, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service said, "There’s really no letup to some of the misery people are feeling across that area". More than 30 people have lost their lives due to the extreme weather conditions. According to the reports by AP, in Houston, one family succumbed to carbon monoxide from car exhaust in their garage. Another family died while using a fireplace to keep warm.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott blamed the grid operators and iced-over wind turbines. According to the reports by AP, Democratic state Rep. James Talarico said, “It's almost like a murder suspect blaming their right hand for committing the crime”. In Iowa, where wind farms supply 40 per cent of the state’s electricity, windmills have been turning all week despite temperatures that dropped to minus 17 degrees in Des Moines. According to the reports by AP, the Texas grid officials said that they cannot speak for why power generators do not do the same.
On Sunday night, US President Joe Biden declared an emergency in Texas and ordered federal assistance to aid state and local response efforts. The declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to to provide assistance, equipment and resources to the affected. As per the reports by AP, officials have been discouraging travel in the wintry conditions. Oklahoma Highway Patrol said a portion of the Turner Turnpike was shut down due to a multi-vehicle accident.