Texas' road to recovery from the cold

As Texas works to fix badly damaged pipes and homes, Governor Greg Abbott makes promises ahead of President Biden's Friday visit to the Lone Star State.

Video Transcript

[HAMMER POUNDING]

- All the cherry hardwood flooring is wet and has water underneath it, and it's all curling up.

MONICA DANIELLE: One week after an Arctic blast caused one of the worst power outages in US history, frustrated Texans continue to deal with the fallout, including expensive repairs for burst pipes and flooded homes.

QUIANA ABRAMS: I hope that they have more people in charge that really care about the-- like, about what's happening to us.

MONICA DANIELLE: As President Biden prepares to fly to Texas Friday for his first visit to a disaster site since taking office, Republican Governor Greg Abbott says Texans deserve answers.

GREG ABBOTT: Many of you are angry, and you have a right to be.

MONICA DANIELLE: Electric Reliability Council of Texas manages the flow of power in the state. During an emergency board meeting Wednesday, ERCOT officials said the grid was minutes away from a total collapse and if they hadn't implemented controlled outages, Texas would have been in the dark for weeks, not just days.

[GENERATOR RUNNING]

GREG ABBOTT: At a time when essential services were needed the most, the system broke.

MONICA DANIELLE: Governor Abbott wants to force power plants to winterize, after nearly half of the state's generation capacity was knocked offline by the cold. He says the state is inspecting spikes in electric bills and power will not be shut off over unpaid bills until the legislature can act.

GREG ABBOTT: I am already working with the legislature on reforms to add more power to the grid and to ensure that we never run out of power again.

MONICA DANIELLE: The legislature held emergency hearings Thursday morning to investigate the power failures and ERCOT.

GREG ABBOTT: This legislative session will not end until we fix these problems.

MONICA DANIELLE: Many Texans remain skeptical of leadership.

QUIANA ABRAMS: Man, everybody mad at him. And now he's doing photo ops and stuff like a Walmart greeter, and I just-- you got to do more than that because people is homeless. People have died from this. And it's just like, oh, well add it to the list. Like we'll figure it out when it happens again.

MONICA DANIELLE: For AccuWeather, I'm Monica Danielle.