Many of the Hurricane Rita recovery challenges Texas is experiencing now are a result of lack of electricity, which impacts all efforts to restore basic services to impacted communities, including sewage and water. Working with private industry, the State Operations Center has developed the following plan to restore power to impacted areas:
· Complete priority short-term restoration projects, such as critical care and continuity of government, within one week. Priority long-term projects, such as restoring power to homes and businesses, will begin after critical short-term projects are complete;
· Some 15,000 out-of-state workers begin arriving today to provide assistance for power restoration projects and to provide a surge of manpower to the region;
· Open nine base camps throughout the affected area to act as staging areas for energy workers so that they can work around-the-clock on essential tasks, including getting power lines back up and cleaning up brush;
· Utilize innovative ways to generate power, including using locomotives engines and large mobile generators to power up electric co-ops to directly provide power to water plants and other critical facilities.
· Overall goal is to have 100% power restored to critical facilities within one week. Normal power will be restored to areas as soon as possible and will be expedited as flood waters retreat.
Highway Patrol Chief Randy Elliston of the DPS has completed a series of on-the-ground assessments throughout affected areas. Currently, the security procedures and level of law enforcement presence is adequate. If this should change, additional resources will be immediately dispatched. Thus far, 1,475 DPS troopers are assisting local law enforcement in the affected area