TDEM provides update on statewide winter weather response

Representatives with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Military Department, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality gave an update on the state’s winter weather response on Saturday.

Chief Nim Kidd of TDEM said one of their top priorities right now is getting bottled water to people. As of Friday night, TDEM had ordered 9.9 million water bottles, received 5.5 million, and had distributed 2.1 million. Another one million bottles are expected to be delivered on Saturday.

"We will continue to use every means of transportation to get water out," said Chief Kidd.


250,000 ready-to-eat meals have been ordered, and they are ordering an additional 5 million. The meals are coming from out of state, and there have been some delays due to weather conditions.

RELATED: H-E-B, Austin restaurants work to get water, food to those in need

Major General Tracy Norris with the Texas Military Department said they have more than 3,200 members of the Texas Army National Guard and Air Guard working on winter weather response.

Currently, two C-130s and two C-17s are each flying four flights a day to deliver food and water. They also have eight UH-60 Black Hawks working out of Austin and San Antonio and four CH-47 Chinooks working out of Dallas and Austin. The North Carolina National Guard is expected to provide another C-17 for them to use.

RELATED: Thousands of water bottles flown from Fort Worth to Austin

Major General Norris also said many of their COVID-focused operations have transitioned to helping with winter weather response.

Regarding the status of water systems in Texas, the number of those reporting no water has been cut almost in half as of Saturday. According to Toby Baker, executive director of TCEQ, that number has gone from 352,000 to 156,000. 64 boil water orders have been lifted, but 1,318 are still in effect. 

"We’ve hit the worst and we’ve stabilized, and now it’s about getting out of the hole that we're in," he said.

Baker said they have multiple labs working through the weekend to test water samples to be able to lift more boil water orders.


As of Friday, 77 counties were approved by President Joe Biden to apply for federal aid from FEMA. Chief Kidd said households in those counties that need assistance should register as soon as they can.

For those that aren’t located in those counties, TDEM has developed a website where affected homeowners and renters can report damages. TDEM plans to pass that information on to FEMA. "We do want all 254 counties added," said Chief Kidd.

To file a report with TDEM, click here.