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What’s really going on in Texas right now

Nearly half a million people went without power Thursday morning in Texas after an unprecedented winter storm that hit the state earlier in the week. People across the state have struggled to stay warm and find enough food and clean water in the dangerous and persistent freezing conditions. Millions of people across the state have received a boil water advisory after the storm caused widespread blackouts at water treatment facilities. Meanwhile, the state’s political leaders have been insufficient in their response, if not entirely absent. Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz was criticized Thursday after he was photographed on a flight to Cancun, Mexico, for a family vacation as millions in his state struggled to stay warm – not to mention the fact that we are still very present in the country. the depths of the global coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott blamed the Green New Deal for the statewide power outages, despite the fact that the proposed resolution did not pass in Congress. In fact, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has the statewide monopoly on electricity, managing electricity for 90% of Texans. However, Texas officials, power companies and ERCOT knew well in advance that the winter storm was approaching and apparently did not do much to prepare. In advance, we explained how the ongoing disaster in the state began and what you can do to help. When did the Texas snowstorm start? Snowfall began across Texas on Sunday after a polar vortex fueled a historic storm across the United States. At least 150 million people across the country were under ice or winter weather advisories as of Monday as the snowstorm continued to intensify throughout the week, as much of the country experienced record weather conditions. “This impressive attack of bad winter weather across much of Lower 48 is due to the combination of strong arctic high pressure providing sub-freezing temperatures and an active storm track escorting waves of precipitation from an ocean. to each other, ”said the National Weather One service. As Michael J. Ventrice, an IBM meteorologist told the New York Times, the storm is the result of a clash between the high Arctic and warmer, wetter southern air. What happened to the power grid in Texas? While several states experienced power outages in the wake of the winter storm, Texas was hit the hardest as it operates its own power grid primarily independently of other states. States in other parts of the country, such as the Midwest, have been able to generate electricity through interconnections with the power grids of neighboring states. Hard-line conservatives praised Texas for its independent power system, which is run by ERCOT. But Democrats have warned for years that the power grid could eventually fail. When a winter storm cut power to much of the state in 2011, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, then state representative, warned the utility company had too much leeway , according to the Times. How did it all lead to power outages in Texas? Texas entered its third day of widespread blackouts on Thursday. The blackouts are the result of both unprecedented energy demand and colder-than-usual winter temperatures, delaying the state’s electrical infrastructure. Now, rather than restore power across Texas, the state power authority has suggested grid operators go from blackout to continuous blackout. ERCOT tweeted on Tuesday that the overnight blackouts led to “load shedding” – the power company’s deliberate decision to reduce energy use by shutting down part of the power system to prevent more system failure. large. What’s the best way to help people in Texas? As with most climate crises and other social crises today, self-help groups and grassroots organizations have filled the gap in support for the most vulnerable people and communities. Warming centers across the state, including pet-friendly options, run by both cities and churches, have been opened to stranded motorists and people still without power. Donation campaigns have sprung up in cities across the state to help homeless people acquire bedding, linens and other household items. A complete list of public aid is available here. If you live in Texas and have the ability to get out in the cold and help out, you can participate in welfare efforts where you live by helping your neighbors stay warm and have access to water. drinking, food and other supplies. You can access an existing network or connect with neighbors where you live and start a network specific to your community. Anyone can also help out by providing financial assistance to support networks across the state: North Texas Rural Resilience: @ ntrr4yall on Venmo Mutual Aid Houston: GoFundMe Austin Disaster Relief Fund: Donate here FeedThePeopleDallas: @feedtheppldfw on Venmo Dallas Harm Reduction Aid: @dallashra on Venmo Texas Jail Project: Donations will go to the Commissioner for Inmates across the state so they can purchase food and supplies. Like what you see? How about a little more R29 goodness, here? Republicans Lie About Texas Blackouts Where’s Ted Cruz? Cancun, apparently, don’t blame Texans for their Republican leaders



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