Texas Standard For February 18, 2021

What did ERCOT know and when did they know it? As millions of Texans still struggle with power outages pressure builds for clear answers. Members of Congress among others demanding straightforward explanations for the collapse of the power grid and uneven distribution of so-called rolling blackouts that left many in the dark and cold for days. Compounding matters, sources for safe water drying up in several parts of Texas as supplies are shut off to deal with cracked pipes and treatment issues. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardFebruary 18, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, February 18, 2021.

Food Shortages 

We all saw the extremely long lines at HEB and other grocers, this week. Now there are empty shelves. Even food banks are struggling during this severe winter storm. The power outages have disrupted the food supply chain. Here to talk to the Standard about this is Texas Tribune reporter Julian Aguilar.

Water Outages

More problems on tap across the Lone Star State as utilities struggle to maintain water pressure.  Power outages are affecting delivery, as is high demand and the sub-freezing temperatures. Bret Jaspers of KERA North Texas offers an overview for the Standard.

Energy Short Squeeze

On yesterday’s show, the Standard spoke with Ed Hirs, he’s an energy fellow at the University of Houston. One of the things we touched on is how the structure of Texas’ energy market contributed to so many people losing power this week. He’s back today to talk more on the details of that market.

Tech Workarounds During Outages

Many Texans who have struggled with power outages over the past few days. Even some people whose lights remained on, have lost Internet access at home. Now that’s certainly a less critical issue than having heat and light, but it’s a challenge for those trying to stay in touch with family and friends, or who need to keep working while hunkered down. And even our cell phones need to be charged regularly.Tech expert Omar Gallaga offers a few workarounds.

Cold Weather Advice for Texans

Though Texans have battled inclement weather before – we’re no strangers to hurricanes or tornadoes – this wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain is leaving many in new and very uncomfortable territory. The Texas Standard’s Laura Rice has been gathering some tips on what to do and what not to do..

Mental Health Advice

Many Texans are feeling down right now. And that’s normal considering the competing crises we are all dealing with. But there are some things you can do to help bolster your mood. For that, the Standard turns to Dr. Adriana Miu, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

El Paso Power Grid 

The entire state of Texas is feeling ripple effects from Texas’ winter storm. That is – almost the entire state. At least one major city has avoided major power outages and rolling blackouts: El Paso, one city not powered through the state’s power grid: ERCOT. Angela Kocherga is news director for KTEP and Borderzine and she talks to the Standard.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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