Millions without power in Texas as dangerous winter weather continues

WILLIAM MANSELL, MARILYN HECK, JON HAWORTH and EMILY SHAPIRO
·2 min read

Over 3.7 million customers in Texas are without power as dangerous winter weather continues to slam the state.

"This is the winter version of Hurricane Harvey," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told ABC Houston station KTRK. "And we will learn from this also, and we will come up with strategies to make sure there are available sources of power and energy so that things like this do not happen again."

PHOTO: A woman walks through falling snow in San Antonio, Feb. 14, 2021. Snow and ice blanketed large swaths of the U.S., prompting canceled flights, making driving perilous and reaching into areas as far south as Texas's Gulf Coast.  (Eric Gay/AP)
PHOTO: A woman walks through falling snow in San Antonio, Feb. 14, 2021. Snow and ice blanketed large swaths of the U.S., prompting canceled flights, making driving perilous and reaching into areas as far south as Texas's Gulf Coast. (Eric Gay/AP)
PHOTO: People wait in line at a mall to get inside a supermarket in Round Rock, Texas, on Feb. 16, 2021. (Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: People wait in line at a mall to get inside a supermarket in Round Rock, Texas, on Feb. 16, 2021. (Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images)

In the Houston area, 1.3 million people remain without power, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday. Nearly 800 people are being housed in warming centers, which are at full capacity.

PHOTO: Customers use the light from a cell phone to look in the meat section of a grocery store Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, in Dallas. (Lm Otero/AP)
PHOTO: Customers use the light from a cell phone to look in the meat section of a grocery store Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, in Dallas. (Lm Otero/AP)

Three weather-related deaths have been reported in Houston, the police chief said.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the agency that oversees the state's electric grid, entered its highest alert level overnight Sunday into Monday and started rolling blackouts to conserve power.

"This is typically done through rotating outages, which are controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service," ERCOT said in a statement obtained by ABC News. "This type of demand reduction is only used as a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole."

MORE: Another storm heading to snow-slammed South: Latest forecast

To help conserve energy, ERCOT asked residents to close their blinds, unplug unused appliances, wait to do laundry for a few days, wear warmer clothes and put the heat at 68 degrees.

ERCOT said Tuesday, "The number of controlled outages we have to do remains high. We are optimistic that we will be able to reduce the number throughout the day."

MORE: How to stay safe in the cold as frigid temperatures hit South

Texas vaccine shipments are on hold because of the storm.

PHOTO: Snowplows works to clear the road during a winter storm Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Oklahoma City. Snow and ice blanketed large swaths of the U.S. on Sunday, prompting canceled flights, making driving perilous and reaching into the Texas Gulf Coast. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)
PHOTO: Snowplows works to clear the road during a winter storm Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Oklahoma City. Snow and ice blanketed large swaths of the U.S. on Sunday, prompting canceled flights, making driving perilous and reaching into the Texas Gulf Coast. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)
PHOTO: Christine Chapman sets down an empty canister to exchange for a full propane tank outside a grocery store Feb. 16, 2021, in Dallas. (Lm Otero/AP)
PHOTO: Christine Chapman sets down an empty canister to exchange for a full propane tank outside a grocery store Feb. 16, 2021, in Dallas. (Lm Otero/AP)

"Due to the winter storm and dangerous conditions, the CDC has put vaccine shipments on hold," the Texas Department of State Health Services said. "We are not expecting deliveries to occur until at least Wednesday. Many local vaccine providers have postponed clinics since it is not safe for people to be out across much of Texas right now. Vaccination will resume as soon as it is safe and local conditions allow."

MORE: As power outages rock Texas, here's what you should know to stay safe

President Joe Biden approved Texas' emergency disaster proclamation on Sunday.

PHOTO: People seeking shelter from below freezing temperatures rest inside a church warming center Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, in Houston. (David J. Phillip/AP)
PHOTO: People seeking shelter from below freezing temperatures rest inside a church warming center Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, in Houston. (David J. Phillip/AP)
PHOTO: A line of more than 200 people formed outside at the George R. Brown Convention Center, in Houston, Feb. 14, 2021, which city officials opened as an emergency shelter for the area homeless, who needed to get out of the freezing temperatures. (Karen Warren/AP)
PHOTO: A line of more than 200 people formed outside at the George R. Brown Convention Center, in Houston, Feb. 14, 2021, which city officials opened as an emergency shelter for the area homeless, who needed to get out of the freezing temperatures. (Karen Warren/AP)

But Texas isn't out of the woods yet.

MORE: Winter storms: How to prepare and everything else you need to know

Overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, ice and snow will move into Texas and Oklahoma.

Dallas could see 1 to 4 inches of snow -- and more power outages are expected.

Austin to Houston to Louisiana could see ice accumulation and very treacherous travel Wednesday morning.

Millions without power in Texas as dangerous winter weather continues originally appeared on abcnews.go.com