The Biden administration is working to assist Texans who are struggling through the effects of the state’s recently unfolding devastating winter weather. Throughout the crisis, millions of Texas residents were temporarily left without power amidst rolling blackouts that state energy officials say that they imposed in order to keep the power grid from completely failing. Besides the fact that this lack of power means that there’s been a lack of heat amidst dangerously low temperatures, running water has also been in occasional short supply as pipes have burst across the state amidst the sub-freezing conditions, and in the crisis, at least 16 people have died, CNN reported.
As summarized by the Houston Chronicle, the Biden administration announced on Wednesday that they were “sending generators, water and blankets to Texas and… preparing to ship in diesel, as well, to help with backup power amid the massive outages that accompanied the recent cold snap.” A spokesperson for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) added that federal authorities have sent 60 “very large” generators to the state, and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki added that the federal disaster agency is “preparing to move diesel into the state to ensure the continued availability of backup power, which of course is a major issue on the ground to key critical infrastructure, including communications, hospitals and water.”
Besides the generators, FEMA also sent “millions of liters of water” and “tens of thousands,” according to the agency spokesperson. Over the weekend, President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration covering Texas, which helps free up needed resources for dealing with the crisis. Through the @POTUS Twitter account, Biden issued a statement on Thursday reading as follows:
‘Jill and I are keeping Texas, Oklahoma, and other impacted states in our prayers. I’ve declared states of emergency, authorized FEMA to provide generators and supplies, and am ready to fulfill additional requests. Please heed the instructions of local officials and stay safe.’
Jill and I are keeping Texas, Oklahoma, and other impacted states in our prayers. I’ve declared states of emergency, authorized FEMA to provide generators and supplies, and am ready to fulfill additional requests. Please heed the instructions of local officials and stay safe.
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 18, 2021
This assistance from the federal government was announced on the same day that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was caught on camera flying with his family to Cancun, Mexico, while his constituents suffered through deadly weather conditions. Cruz was slated to fly back to Texas on Thursday, leaving his family members behind for a trip, but the damage was done — instead of prioritizing helping his constituents survive the profoundly dangerous conditions, Cruz went along to Cancun.
NYT confirms: As Texas was battered by an icy storm and widespread power losses that left millions of residents freezing and fearing for their safety, Ted Cruz left the state on Wednesday and traveled to Mexico for a previously planned family vacation. https://t.co/vlPQw6ksgH
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 18, 2021