DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After millions of Texans suffered from widespread power outages this week, the state’s power grid operator, ERCOT, announced Friday morning, Feb. 19, it returned to normal operations for the first time this week.
The CEO, Bill Magness, interrupted the news conference. “We just got the notice from the control room that we have left the last stage of emergency operations.”READ MORE: Mesquite Officer Dies After Shooting Outside Grocery Store
ERCOT stopped asking companies to impose controlled or rotating outages on customers.
However, Magness said power companies spent the day Friday having crews restore power to residents and businesses left in the dark from previous rolling outages or from storm damage such as ice downing power lines.
Also Friday, President Joe Biden announced he was having FEMA expedite Governor Greg Abbott’s request for a major disaster declaration.
“We’re going to sign that declaration once it’s in front of me and God willing, it will bring a lot of relief to a lot of Texans,” said President Biden.
The President also said he asked a number of federal agencies, the Department of Defense, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Agriculture to determine what other resources could be sent to the state.READ MORE: Officials React To Mesquite Officer Killed On Duty
He said he may visit Texas next week. “If in fact, it’s concluded that I can do it without creating a burden for the folks on the ground while they’re dealing with this crisis, I plan on going. But we’ll make that decision probably the beginning of next week.”
Back in Texas, ERCOT’S CEO once again defended their actions this week.
Amid harsh criticism, he said if they hadn’t ordered the controlled outages, the state’s power grid could have sustained a catastrophic blackout, that could have taken weeks, even months to repair.
Magness also agreed with Governor Abbott’s call Thursday to mandate weatherization of the power system.
“I think it was a very productive step to get the legislature, to direct the legislature, to encourage them to look at that right away on an emergency basis,” he said.MORE NEWS: Fort Worth ISD Hopes To Hire Teachers 'On The Spot,' Offering Huge Incentives
Aside from a potential Presidential visit next week, ERCOT’s Board of Directors will hold a special meeting Wednesday, and the State House and Senate will each hold hearings next Thursday in the Capitol about what happened this week.