Polar Vortex Causes Power Problems for the Lone Star State

Feb 19, 2021  | 2 min  | Ep4627

North Dakota is one of the states surveyed by Creighton University and the town of Grand Forks was like many in the region that spent eleven days without breaking zero. 

The arctic blast of air was not exclusive as a winter storm hammered the state of Texas with a one two punch that’s going to leave the state staggering for days and months to come.

John Torpy reports. 

A polar vortex blanketed the lower 48 states with record setting cold temperatures this week, leaving millions of people without power and sending natural gas prices skyrocketing. 
The National Weather Service reported that by Wednesday, more than 100 million people nationwide were under some type of weather warning related to the record breaking arctic cold temperatures and multiple winter storms. While places north of Interstate 70 were able to weather the freezing temperatures with relative ease, the cold snap and icy winter conditions brought life in many southern states to a standstill.
In the Lone Star State, the record setting polar vortex froze natural gas supply lines that feed electric company generators just as people were turning up their thermostats. As of Thursday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced a continuation of rolling blackouts across the state as crews worked to re-establish power for millions of residents.
Gov. Greg Abbott, (R) Texas: "Every source of power the state of Texas has has been compromised, whether it be renewable power, such as wind or solar, but also, as I mentioned today, access to coal generated power, access to gas generated power also have been compromised, whether it be with regard to systems freezing up or equipment failures."

Farmers growing winter produce also may have taken a big hit from the polar vortex. According to the Texas International Produce Association, of the forty different varieties of produce grown in Texas, all but three may have significant damage. 
For Market to Market, I’m John Torpy

Producer contact torpy@iowapbs.org

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