AUSTIN, Texas -- The state's power grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), on Friday said "operations have returned to normal" after a winter storm left millions freezing in the dark for days.
ERCOT, in a tweet, said while the system is back up and fully running - it still encouraged energy conservation efforts to reduce the stress on the grid, which suffered a major overload that led to rolling blackouts earlier this week due to some of the coldest temperatures in decades.
ERCOT officials have said that the power grid was “seconds or minutes” away from catastrophic failure and a complete blackout if not for the controlled outages they had implemented days ago.
Meantime, President Joe Biden said Friday that he planned to sign a major disaster declaration for Texas, possibly before the day is over, that would speed up federal response to the crisis.
“I’m going to sign that declaration once it’s in front of me,” he said during a brief exchange with reporters in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
Biden indicated he spoke with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday night about relief efforts currently being undertaken by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help the Lone Star state in the wake of the severe winter weather.
“FEMA is already there and providing support,” he noted. That support included portable generators and other needed supplies.
Biden also said he wanted to visit Texas as soon as he can, but only if the trip wouldn't pose a disruption to the recovery efforts.
"I plan on going," he said. Although there was no exact timing given, Biden signaled he was thinking about "the middle of next week."
But he added, "I don’t want to be a burden. When the president lands in a city in America it has a long tail."
operations have returned to normal. Conservation is still encouraged. 10:36:33 190221— ERCOT (@ERCOT_ISO) February 19, 2021