As dusk fell Monday, more than 1 million households in the Houston region remained without electricity. They faced two bad options: Hunker down with layers of blankets on the coldest night in 32 years or traverse icy roads to the homes of friends and relatives who had power, while also risking exposure to COVID-19.
The winter storm that swept through Texas on Sunday brought sleet and snow from the Red River to the Rio Grande Valley, slickening roads and halting air travel. But it was extremely cold air that posed the greatest risk, as the resulting demand for electricity to heat homes caused a catastrophic failure of the state’s power grid.
By Monday night, 1.4 million customers in the Houston region were without power. CenterPoint Energy told those residents not to expect service until at least Tuesday, leaving many with no source of heat with temperatures forecast as low as single-digits overnight.