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Live updates: Oncor says 'please be prepared for additional outages' as second round of wintry weather moves in

Here's the latest on power outages across Texas as a new winter storm warning gets underway in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

This story is from Tuesday, Feb. 16. Go here for the Wednesday, Feb, 17 updates.

Millions across Texas remain without power as temperatures plunged well below freezing Tuesday, with wind chills in the negative double digits across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

More power outages are expected as Oncor says that ERCOT gave direction to reduce the electric load Tuesday evening.

"Customers, please be prepared for additional outages and stay weather aware due to an active Winter Storm Warning," Oncor tweeted.

This comes as North Texas braces for another round of wintry weather expected overnight, this time with a higher concern for ice, especially for areas south of Dallas-Fort Worth.

Earlier in the day, Gov. Greg Abbott declared ERCOT reform an emergency item for this legislative session to ensure "Texans never again experience power outages on the scale they have seen over the past several days," his office said in a statement.

"Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather," Abbott said in the statement. "This is unacceptable. Reviewing the preparations and decisions by ERCOT is an emergency item so we can get a full picture of what caused this problem and find long-term solutions."

Multiple counties have issued disaster declarations in response to the weather and the power outages. 

Oncor officials said Tuesday morning they are planning to restore power to those who have been without the longest first as soon as they can bring more homes online.

"As soon as enough generation is available, we will return to a regular cadence of rotating outages with the goal of providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest," a news release said.

RELATED: 'Electric emergency': Map of power outages in Dallas-Fort Worth area

Overnight ERCOT, the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas, ordered utilities to shed more power, instead of the expected power supply increases they had predicted would happen.  

Oncor and other utilities were unable to rotate or roll through many of the outages due to "poor grid conditions" as well, officials said. That's what has led to "extended periods without power" for many people.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted that Oncor officials told him transformers are breaking, but are not widespread. In those service areas, power won't come back on, adding to "the complexity of the problem."

ERCOT predicts they will be able to have more electricity output from wind and solar power sources, as well as additional thermal generation, later this afternoon. The added power sources will help them restore power to some Texans, the agency said in a tweet. The amount, however, is still up in the air.

Read on for more updates from across North Texas and the state.

Key links:

Remember to download the WFAA app for the latest need-to-know weather and power updates. You can also check one of our dozens of local radars near you, the latest forecast, weather cameras and current conditions.

Here's what's happening across North Texas:

8:22 p.m.: The Texas Department of Transportation is asking drivers to use caution and delay any unnecessary travel. Crews are still pretreating roadways.

6:35 p.m.: Oncor says that they have received direction from ERCOT to reduce the additional electric load because there is not enough generation. "Customers, please be prepared for additional outages," Oncor tweeted.

5 p.m.: Gov. Greg Abbott spoke to WFAA where he called for more transparency and more answers from the state's utility leaders amid the millions of Texans who have lost power during the state's winter storm.

4 p.m.: Texans who have encountered price gouging or other disasters should call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-621-0508.

3:08 p.m.: The Catholic Diocese of Dallas announced that due to the extreme weather and dangerous road conditions, many parishes announced they are closed and that Ash Wednesday services are canceled.

2:50 p.m.: Multiple warming stations have been opened across the North Texas area. Go here for details on hours and locations.

2:10 p.m.: Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller issued a dire warning on the food supply chain, saying the statewide impact on agriculture and the food supply chain. He said farmers and ranchers were affected by the power outages.

RELATED: Texas agriculture commissioner issues 'red alert,' asking Gov. Abbott for help

"In just one example, dairy operations are dumping $8 million worth of milk down the drains every day because the plants that process that milk don’t have power," Miller said in a statement. "Grocery stores are already unable to get shipments of dairy products. Store shelves are already empty."

2:00 p.m.: MedStar officials say they have responded to 700 calls in the last 24 hours and Fort Worth Fire has responded to 1,600 calls. In the last 24 hours, there have been 66 calls to 911 for carbon monoxide poisoning.

1:45 p.m.: North Richland Hills police are advising people who have been without power to find friends and family with power and stay with them for the next few days as power outages are expected to continue during this period of winter weather.

The department is telling people to prepare for the power outages to last through Thursday at the earliest, and find alternate accommodations before roads become impassible tonight and tomorrow with more wintry precipitation on the way. 

North Richland Hills also has warming stations available, to find the nearest one, officials are telling residents to call their hotline at 817-427-6001 or 817-281-1000.

Officials are also asking people to conserve water use in addition to power usage, limiting it to only drinking water, sanitation purposes and dripping faucets to prevent freezing. 

12:01 p.m.: WFAA conducted a 20-minute interview with ERCOT's CEO Bill Magness to discuss the electric crisis Texas is facing as temperatures plunged statewide. He discussed how the agency can't predict when outages will end and shared who he thinks is to blame.

11:38 a.m.: Gov. Greg Abbott declared ERCOT reform an emergency item for this legislative session to ensure "Texans never again experience power outages on the scale they have seen over the past several days," his office said in a statement.

11:27 a.m.: ERCOT says it has directed local utilities to restore power to 400,000 households in the last hour. ERCOT says generation availability is improving. Oncor shows that 1.1 million households are still without power.

11:03 a.m.: The Texas department of health says that vaccine shipments have been postponed due to the incoming winter storm. The shipments for this week are expected to arrive Wednesday at the earliest, depending on the local situation, the Department of State Health Services said.

10:46 a.m.: Cook Children's Medical Center says at least 10 children came in overnight with carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer, and it can happen fast. It is colorless, tasteless and odorless. Here are tips on how to stay warm safely.

10:35 a.m.: ERCOT submitted a formal request for an emergency order, requesting that the Department of Energy authorizes all electric generating units to operate up to their maximum generation output levels from Tuesday through Friday.

9:45 a.m.: Wylie is asking its residents to conserve water because power outages have affected the city's ability to refill its Creekside tank. The water is safe and service will continue, officials said.

9:20 a.m.: The Texas Speaker of the House has called for a hearing on the statewide power outages. 

Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, asked the House State Affairs and Energy Resources Committees to hold a joint hearing to review what led to the massive power supply drop-off that has caused all the outages statewide.

“The extreme winter weather Texans experienced this week caused the lights to go off across the Lone Star State,” Phelan said in a news release. “I’m asking these two vital committees to convene a joint hearing on Feb. 25 for the express purpose of helping Texans understand what went wrong and how we can prevent these conditions from happening again."

Phelan said he wants to know what steps regulators and grid operators need to take. 

House State Affairs Committee Chairman Chris Paddie echoed that sentiment in the same release. 

“The statewide blackouts raise questions about the reliability of our electric grid and its ability to withstand extreme weather events in the future," Paddie added.

9:15 a.m.: ERCOT predicts they will be able to have more electricity output from wind and solar power sources, as well as additional thermal generation, later this afternoon. The added power sources will help them restore power to some Texans, the agency said in a tweet. 

The amount, however, is still up in the air.

8:40 a.m.: Tarrant County has declared a state of disaster as the county "has suffered severe damage to critical infrastructure" and probable injuries to its residents, a document from the county stated.

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley also sent an email to Gov. Greg Abbott to ask for his help with the stare of disaster the county is experiencing.

Officials said they will be requesting aid from the state and federal government in response to the weather and power crisis, which they believe has become too great for the county to respond to alone.

The disaster declaration will be in effect for seven days as the county responds.

8:35 a.m.: Low temperatures reached -2 degrees Fahrenheit at DFW Airport this morning, one of only two times on record it has been that cold in Dallas-Fort Worth. Temperatures have not been this low in the area for decades.

8:24 a.m.: CoServ says the outages ordered by ERCOT are continuing. Conditions may improve over the next 24 hours, but a Winter Storm Warning remains in effect through 6 a.m. Thursday. CoServ is advising members to prepare for potential outages over the next several days.

7:47 a.m.: Sachse Police reports that their 911 lines are down. People are asked to call the non-emergency lines 972-495-2271 extension 2 or 972-496-6229. 

7:40 a.m.: Oncor is planning to restore power to those who have been without the longest first as soon as they can bring more homes online, officials said.

"As soon as enough generation is available, we will return to a regular cadence of rotating outages with the goal of providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest," a news release said.

Oncor and other utilities were unable to rotate or roll through many of the outages due to "poor grid conditions," officials said. That's what has led to "extended periods without power" for many people.

They are also currently dealing with more power generation outages from overnight, with ERCOT telling utilities across the state to drop the power load through maintained controlled outages.

"We recognize the hardships and extreme frustration customers without power face during these historical low temperatures and are ready to deliver power as soon as electric generators are able to provide it," Oncor said in the release.

7:35 a.m.: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted that he spoke to Oncor’s CEO and senior leadership on the phone. He said a power generation increase that ERCOT forecasted for Monday night didn’t happen. 

"During our call, ERCOT demanded an additional 500 megawatts be pulled from transmission bringing the up to the minute total to 18,500 shed," he said. 

Jenkins also stated transformers are breaking and many people didn't get "30-minute cycles" of power Monday night like Oncor said they would.

According to the tweet, ERCOT CEO John Magness told Jenkins another peak is expected at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Jenkins asked businesses to close and people to stay home. 

7:33 a.m.: Parking garages A and B are closed to arriving customers at Dallas Love Field Airport. The airport said parking is available in garage C. 

7:15 a.m.: Plano has opened an emergency warming center at Grace Church Plano as the power outages continue in combination with the dangerous cold. 

The church's address is 3301 Preston Road, at the corner of Preston and Parker roads.

 It will be open for 24 hours until Thursday evening, officials said.

COVID-19 safety protocols will be in effect and people are encouraged to bring their blankets, water and snacks. Pets are not allowed.

RELATED: More warming stations, shelters open across North Texas

6:15 a.m.: Fort Worth has four warming shelters open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are:

  • Worth Heights Community Center at 3551 New York Ave.
  • Handley Meadow Community Center at 6201 Beaty St.
  • Diamond Hill Community Center at 1701 NE 36th St.
  • One Safe Place at 1101 Hemphill St.

6:10 a.m.: Haslet has issued a boil order as well for all of its water customers.

6 a.m.: Temps are below zero to the single digits right now. This takes the number of hours North Texas has been below freezing to 60. We will likely stay below freezing until Friday afternoon. The total time below freezing, if we get above freezing Friday afternoon, will be 144 hours. 

5:45 a.m.: About 1.19 million Oncor customers remain without power. More than 13,400 outages are currently being reported.

5:34 a.m.: The National Weather Service Fort Worth reports that DFW Airport and Waco have dropped down to -1 degrees Fahrenheit. The last time both locations were below 0 degrees was Dec. 23, 1989, the NWS stated. 

4:30 a.m.: Fort Worth officials expanded a boil order early Tuesday morning to include around 212,000 homes, up from 100,000 Monday night. The boil order now covers the northern third of Fort Worth. Many have lost water entirely.

RELATED: 212,000 homes in Fort Worth now under a boil order after water utility widely loses power

City officials have also notified nine cities that buy drinking water from Fort Worth. They are:

  • Haslet
  • Keller
  • Lake Worth
  • Northlake
  • Roanoke
  • Saginaw
  • Southlake
  • Trophy Club
  • Westlake

Customers should boil their water prior to drinking it, washing with it, or brushing their teeth, according to officials. Water should be brought to a "vigorous roiling boil" and then boiled for 2 minutes before it is cooled to be consumed.

Customers who are unable to boil their water should use bottled water or another safe source.

Digital producers Jozelyn Escobedo and Eline de Bruijn contributed to this report.