For my non-Texans, it’s hard to convey how f’d our state is. It’s barely broken freezing since Sunday. Half of Austin has been almost entirely w/out heat or power for 2.5 days. Water pressure is dropping and there’s a boil notice but half the city has no power to boil. Thread🧵⤵️
We mostly heat our homes w/ nat gas here but furnaces need electricity, so they’re out. Once buildings got cold pipes started breaking all over town. Folks dripped their faucets but now there’s not enough pressure for that. Mains are breaking w/ water running down the street. 2/
This all started when several nuke, coal and gas power plants froze Sunday night because they’re not winterized despite warnings after our last storm in 2011 because we deregulated everything and industry owns the legislature/governor. 3/
When the big plants went down, the state grid operator cut local power. Yes, we have our own grid because we’re stubborn like that; former Gov/asshole Rick Perry says the disaster is worth it b/c we don’t want the feds imposing their SAFETY REGULATIONS: 4/…
When the state grid operator (@ERCOT_ISO) told local utilities had to immediately cut power Sunday night, many could only reach cut levels by shutting off every circuit that didn’t have a hospital or nursing home. So no rotating blackouts - just solid blackout since Sunday. 5/
It’s almost never this cold and never for this long. Texans don’t have fireplaces or many generators and many didn’t have food supplies for what’s looking like a week of lockdown. People are getting desperate, especially those who can’t cook because powers been out for 3 days 6/
Most cities here don’t have plows/salt, so the roads are a mess. Most cities got their utilities deregulated, so they have zero control over the power, and the few like Austin that do don’t have enough power to cycle - hospital circuits must stay on. City govs mostly powerless 7/
Many families (mine incl.) are lucky enough to have family or friends in the city near a hospital, so we drained our plumbing and abandoned our homes to go to them. I have neighbors who report 2 hours of power since Sunday and now almost no water pressure. It’s getting scary. 8/
Where we are now in Austin: people are out of food. Half the city still w/out power or heat. Citywide boil notice and little/no water pressure. Roads f’d. Stores closed. High of 34 lows in 20s next three days. It’s bad. Real bad. This is our Katrina. 9/
This was the looming danger behind the “Texas miracle” economy. We’ve invested the bare min. in education, foster care (kids dying/disappearing), affordable housing & #public health (healthcare in general: asshole Gov and #txlege refuse to expand Medicaid so hospitals closing)10/
And now chickens have come home to roost. We were warned in 2011 that if we didn’t require utilities to spend $ on winterization, this would happen. But we don’t force industry to spend $ in Texas. And now people are freezing and starving in their homes w/ no help on the way. 11/
And our feckless governor, who has never cared for governing as much as he has for his 2024 presidential run or protecting himself from a GOP primary challenge from our huckster Lt Gov., offers nothing but pointing fingers at windmills and his own regulatory appointees. 12/
I apologize for my language and rudeness but I’m just done with these Texas politicians who think they can cut a bit of taxes, start a minor culture war and ride the momentum to the presidency (see Rick Perry). Now they’ve gotten people killed, and they still just don’t care. 13/
If you’d like to help, bless you. Throw some money at the local orgs out there feeding people and gettin them out of the cold (see below). It’s probably going to get worse in the next few days. If you pray, mention us. We’re going to need it. END
PS: Please don’t throw insults/snark at Texans right now. We understand what our ruling party stands for, and nearly half of us voted for the other side. Right now we’re in bad trouble, and concentrating on getting each other through this, late night bitter Twitter rants aside.
Update: well this blew up. Power is coming back on but water pressure is dropping. Roads are bad and new storms are coming and store shelves are bare. Please give to these local orgs if you can, and don’t vote for politicians who offer easy, cheap answers to tough problems 🙏

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17 Feb
WTF is this!?!? We’re in the middle of a crisis, w/ people freezing to death, caused by 1/3 of our nuke, coal, and gas plants failing in the cold, and Gov Abbott has time to go on Fox News to lie and trash wind and solar power!?!? We need competent leadership, not this bullshit.
Look, Abbott’s office likely didn’t make decisions that caused the grid failure. But it’s a solid bet that he hasn’t paid attention to it before now, appointed feckless regulators, and did a solid for industry by pushing back on proposals that would cost them $. And now this BS.
Even for a dem, it’s a disappointing end for a gov who was supposed to be the adult in the room after Rick Perry. That we know he knows better than Jade Helm and this “wind power caused the blackout” BS makes it so much worse. He’s smarter than this. But chooses to act otherwise.
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