Feb. 23 —White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Tuesday that President Joe Biden plans to fly to Houston later this week to study the impact of a series of winter storms that disrupted Texas’ energy grid and caused millions of people to lose access to drinkable water.
For the Friday outing, the president will be accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden.Psaki told reporters during her regular briefing, “We, of course, remain in close touch with state and local elected officials to monitor the recovery,” “The president will meet with local leaders to discuss the winter storm — relief efforts, progress toward recovery and the incredible resilience shown by the people of Houston and Texas.
“Texas had temperatures steadily below freezing over the course of almost two weeks — rare for the state — and numerous winter storms dropping several inches of snow and ice in the area. The state power authority, overtaxed by millions of people using electricity to keep warm, enforced rolling power outages that eventually left many residents for days without power.
In many homes and residences, the sub-freezing temperatures and lack of heat caused pipes to freeze and burst, and the power outages reached water treatment plants, which prompted millions of people to follow boil water advice. The impact of the storm and power outages killed at least 32 individuals in the state, and another two dozen died in neighboring states hit by the deep freeze.Biden also plans to visit health centers where vaccines for COVID-19 are being administered to Texans, Psaki said.