Mayor Turner advises Houstonians to continue to boil water

No water, low pressure, and an array of other issues continue to plague the region. The list of boil orders is growing too.

Video Transcript

SYLVESTER TURNER: Let me just-- the main issue for right now are the power outages that are taking place throughout-- throughout our state and primarily cause-- of course, there's a lot-- it's a huge demand. And then there are a number of generation plants that have been taken offline, like your wind turbines that are frozen over in various parts of the state. One of our nuclear plants had to be taken offline.

So there's a huge demand, a very limited supply. It is a system-wide failure across-- across the state. And as you know, the system is controlled-- managed by ERCOT. That is a state entity that controls our electric grid. And I know that some of them have already been speaking to it already, but let me just say, people, because I know I've seen some of the social tweets and others saying, mayor, please turn on the heat. That is not within my purview.

So that is the-- that's the electric grid. That's on the state level. And that is creating a great deal of power outages. Yesterday we talked in terms of rolling blackouts, but that was yesterday. Today these are power outages. And based on the recent CenterPoint numbers, about 1.2 million CenterPoint customers in their service area are without power. That's all of the city of Houston and then the Houston region. So it goes even beyond the city of Houston. That's about 1.2 million.

It is even possible, with the weather getting colder as we move towards the evening, that that number could even grow. I just want to be very upfront with-- with people in the city. If you are without power right now, it is very conceivable that you could be without power throughout the rest of today and possibly even going into tomorrow. And so let me ask you to do everything you can to be warm in a safe manner.

I do not encourage people, for example, to try to leave their homes. The roadways and the streets are still very much treacherous. We have a number of warming centers throughout the city. But I will tell you even a couple of them are without power. There are approximately 500 people at the George R. Brown. Of that number, 40 were processed, taken in today at the George R. Brown, and that's pretty much at capacity.

So let me encourage you not to get on the road, to just kind of buckle down, hunker down at your home. I am very much concerned with critical care patients, customers, people who need medical devices. They need oxygen, for example. They're relying on battery power. To the extent you see yourself getting very low in terms of your battery power or you don't have enough oxygen, please contact 311. 311, 211.

If you'll reach out to us-- in some cases, you know, we'll even be trying to reach out to you. But these are the critical care customers who require medical devices or oxygen, things of that nature. If you see that what you have is running out of power or you need additional medical devices or oxygen, please reach out to us on 311.

I'm also concerned with our seniors. And so I would ask people-- relatives, neighbors, friends-- to check on our seniors. Many of them rely pretty much exclusively, for example, on television. And without power, they may not be getting these reports. So please pick up the phone and give-- and give them a call and check-- and check on our-- check on our seniors.

But the roads-- bear in mind, the roads are hazardous. Let me say with regards to the airports, the airports at this point are not flying in or out. And so before you even proceed to go to the airports, please check-- check with your airlines. But for right now, based on our reports, they are not flying in or out at this time.

So the next, let's say, 24 to 36 hours are going to be very, very important. And I'm simply going to ask us to just kind of hunker down. I know it-- I know it's cold for people who have lost power in the city. I certainly understand that, and I know that people affiliated with the electric industry, utility industry are working very, very hard, and ERCOT, to increase that capacity. But until then, let's just be patient as much as you can.