AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday gave an update on the state's response to the impending winter weather that's said to be historic.
"It will be very dangerous driving on roadways the next few days." This was one of the numerous messages from the governor and officials as they warned Texans to do their part in getting through the upcoming event.
In North Texas, hazardous conditions are expected to begin Saturday night and last through Monday. Light freezing rain and sleet could start accumulating on roadways Sunday night, leading to dangerous travel.
On Sunday, light snow in the morning is expected to turn heavy by the late afternoon, with highs in the low 20s. The snow would be falling on top of ice that's already on the roadways.
The governor said the entire state would be getting either snow or ice within the next few days. "All 25 TxDOT regions have winter weather conditions," Abbott said.
"'There are no experts when it comes to driving on ice' (quoting the Texas Department of Public Safety director). Some people will think they know how to drive on ice... but these conditions are so unprecedented, in so many regions of the state of Texas there will be so many other people who have never driven on ice before and it can be one of the most hazardous things that you can do," Abbott said.
Abbott went on to talk about the challenges surrounding power use throughout the state as residents will look to stay warm, especially on Monday and Tuesday.
"Demand for power is expected to potentially exceed supply during parts of Monday and Tuesday," Abbott said. "... We do as a state have the ability to ensure that we do not run out of power. To that, however, we need everybody in the state to pitch in and follow directions about ways we can reduce power usage to make sure that there will be no outage whatsoever."
Some tips given at the news conference included residents turning their thermostats to 68 degrees or lower, closing blind or shades to reduce the amount of heat that leaves homes, turning off or unplugging non-essential equipment such as small appliances, and trying to avoid using large appliances during peak hours like the mornings and evenings.
Abbott also said he has requested a federal emergency declaration.
"This is going to be a very challenging time for Texas and for Texans but it is a challenge that we know that our fellow Texans are up to. And if everyone follows the responsible steps that they themselves can control we are going to get through this challenge in ways that reduce the loss of life, that maximize out ability to access the power that we need and that also maximizes the safety and security of everybody in the state," Abbott said.
The governor issued a disaster declaration for all 254 counties of Texas on Friday.
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