Judge Hidalgo on Texas outages: ‘We have to be prepared for the worst’

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo discusses the millions without power and the boil water advisories due to the extreme cold in Texas and weighs in on what needs to happen next.
6:11 | 02/18/21

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Transcript for Judge Hidalgo on Texas outages: ‘We have to be prepared for the worst’
The county judge for Harris Tony Lee nineteen dollar go joins us now thank you so much for your time tonight judge. Harris County is of course home to Houston the fourth biggest city in this country. A short time ago you said that this is no longer just an emergency it's a disaster. Your community is certainly dealing with a whole range of issues tonight millions are without power major water supply issues lack of food what's your number one concern is temperatures are set to plunge. Yet again below freezing tonight. Look at the core of all of this. It is the loss of power but it has caused so many cascading effects. That we're having to turn her attention to other major issues next on the list. Really is is water. Here I have a community where about half an hour our residents on our two and a half million people. Have been without power for several days at least three nights at this point. And now we have no water either so that's causing challenges not just for them. But for hospitals and pour fire departments they need water pressure to be able to do their job in keep people safe. And that outages to the generators have lowered that water pressure. There's untold number. Other impacts. They're in our food issues you know folks have not been able to go and get supplies they did their part stocking up. But nobody expected a no power to be out. For this and more and so we have so many stories. Other families huddled together trying to spend the night who don't have adequate. Resource is two to stay well. And the same time our first responders are facing their feelings are facing the theme issues and they're facing the same supply issues that we have community wide. And you talk about the power being out for this long how long do you think that the outages may last and you feel that are cod is being transparent with you about the what the situation ends. The good sure we had on that and for the past couple of days is her cup this agency has been telling us. That more generation is coming online only for there to meet even. More people without power and so I have pushed for them to give it to us straight you know people don't need false hope. Just about a few hours ago we finally got a glimmer of hope. Where it they have shown evidence that there is actually significant more generation online now it remains to be seen whether that new those new plants come online are stable enough for the electricity and be distributed to the community even so that needs to be done slowly and some more production meaning to be necessary and told. Brit to cover the entire community of course that doesn't deal entirely with the water issue and with some of them the materials that the need to Gideon because of the when they're so there are some glimmers of hope but I've asked the community to continue preparing for another couple of days without power. Because we need to be prepared we hope for the best. But we have to be prepared for the worse and that's why it's important for all leadership agency's invokes to it to be very clear in city expectations and not give. Fools who. Right so possibly several more days without power help us understand is especially for our viewers watching across the entire country. Other southern states did see freezing temperatures as well but not as many outages. Can you explain why Texas is having such a problem dealing with massive outages and who is ultimately responsible and check. She had this independent. Electric grid and her cot runs the grid. In theory they're supposed to make sure that there's enough power generation to survive a situation like the one we're facing now we knew that this tough weather was coming we knew that it was historic the production in these other places hasn't completely soft hats here so obviously. There was a problem there in the incentives the regulations or lack thereof are not in place to ensure that they are being responsible. As far as who's Fulton is. Well we're gonna investigate this where I'm in the certainly push for that to be done on behalf of my community and on behalf of a smaller incidents of this state everybody deserves an answer and then we'll get to that we'll cross that bridge when we get there but certainly there's gonna have to be a lot of attention Turco and the folks said the regulations the way they are to allow for that kind of a lack of preparation lack of responsibility but right now. With so many of my first responders might residents still without power my work is to. Focus on this working with the state the federal level other jurisdictions to get a food water generators and keep pushing for the part of me back on I hope. This glimmer of good news is gonna turn into more power for our residents soon. Germany they are desperate for good news if former Texas governor Rick Perry. Suggested in a post today the Texan should be willing to go without power for days if it means keeping the federal government out of their business. Should use it to hear your response to that. I was I was disappointed to have read that of course I mean I I they think. All of us under our scenes such tragic stories. Finger of the theater Italy's eight person family and children eleven prison Finley with children who've been transported to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning. The mother an eight year old daughter who died of carbon monoxide poisoning the many who spent three nights in sub zero temperatures with no food. In no water. That is not a decision that these people made. To go without water to subject themselves to that kind of suffering for the state of culture wars. I'm so it's disappointing. But but again a rate now we need to focus on getting this back can't. And then after that we need to make sure and not focus on the culture wars and instead focus on how we're gonna have stable and reliable power for Texans because all of the community deserves better. Judging don't go we are wishing you all the best in Texas and thank you so much your time appreciate you coming on the show. Think you've.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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