AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today ordered the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to increase the readiness of the State Emergency Operations Center (SOC) to Level II: Escalated Response for Winter Weather ahead of wintry conditions expected to impact portions of Texas, with the greatest impacts Wednesday through the weekend.
Representatives from key state agencies belonging to the Emergency Management Council will report to the SOC beginning Wednesday, February 23 at 7:00 AM CT to assist in the state’s winter weather response.
Light snow is expected in the Panhandle and portions of West Texas tonight into Thursday morning. Wintry mix is anticipated in some areas of North and Central Texas beginning Wednesday and lasting through Friday. Additionally, extremely cold wind chill is forecast nearly statewide on Wednesday and will continue through Saturday morning.
“The State of Texas is taking action to prepare our communities and equip first responders and local officials with necessary resources to respond and address severe winter weather in the coming days,” said Governor Abbott. “As we continue to monitor weather conditions, Texans are encouraged to heed the guidance of local officials and stay mindful of changing weather conditions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”
The following entities will report to the SOC:
Public Utility Commission of Texas
Electric Reliability Council of Texas
Railroad Commission of Texas
Texas Department of Public Safety
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Texas Department of Transportation
Texas Military Department
Texas A&M Forest Service
Department of State Health Services
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Health and Human Services Commission
TDEM Mass Care
Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation is pretreating major thoroughfares around the state in anticipation of hazardous road conditions. Texans are urged to use caution on roads that may become difficult to drive.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is readying vehicles with four-wheel drive and TPWD’s aviation teams are on standby, the Texas Military Department is rostering five winter weather packages, and the state’s Emergency Medical Task Force is preparing a winter weather package. Energy industry leaders are participating in regular calls hosted by TDEM.
Texans can visit tdem.texas.gov to find winter weather resources, preparedness tips, and warming center information.