We live in the 21st century, but what happened in Texas in February 2021 was something out of a horror movie.

I don't think anyone can forget what happened to so many unsuspecting people.

Winter storm Uri paid a visit to the state and several catastrophic issues combined to see a collapse of the power grid and thus the availability to keep people warm. To add insult to injury, the attempts at trying to help people often fell short.

The proof of these measures failed is that 246 people died as a result of the winter weather.

After what happened last year, officials in Texas say they are ready.

Many people in Lafayette and Acadiana have been wondering the same thing.

Forty percent of the homes in Texas were heated by natural gas, but sixty percent of the homes were dependent on electricity. When the gird began to fail, many people just couldn't do enough to compete against temperatures that were as low as six degrees.

What about Us Here in Louisiana? Are We Ready?

The Louisiana Department of Homeland Security and Preparedness says they all aspects of their program have been activated to respond to any emergencies that may occur across the state.

Locally, officials with Lafayette Government and Lafayette Utilities System have been giving information out all week long to prepare people for the coming freezing temperatures.

LUS Director Jeffrey Stewart
Jeffrey Stewart, submitted photo

LUS Director Jeff Stewart issued the following statement to us:

LUS is part of a larger electric grid that spans from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico which we can draw from for any additional electric needs. Our local generating stations are currently all online and running, ready to meet Lafayette’s electric demand during the below-freezing weather. We will be monitoring the system 24/7 and will respond to any issues with maximum effort. Our electric and water crews are prepared and on stand-by throughout the holiday weekend.

SLEMCO Workers
SLEMCO Facebook Page

In addition, we spoke with Mary Laurent, Spokeswoman from SLEMCO in Lafayette who had this to say:

SLEMCO is confident in the strength of our electric system. We’ve made certain to prepare for increased demand for power from heating systems. If weather forecasters are correct, and rain precedes any drastic drop in temperatures, power lines should not be weighed down with ice.

It is very reassuring to hear from some local companies, that everyone in our region is prepared. Everyone in Acadiana is ready to go, and everyone on a statewide level is also ready to deal with anything that potentially could pop up.

SLEMCO's Laurent adds,

Wind gusts are expected to be between 20 and 40 mph. Our infrastructure was designed and built to withstand much stronger winds. The one thing we are watching closely is trees near power lines where the ground is saturated from rains earlier this week.  Winds could topple weak trees or branches into our lines, causing outages. As a precaution, we have put many more dispatchers and crews on standby for the duration of this winter storm.  We have also been in close contact with transmission grid owners to make certain they are prepared to respond to any transmission line outages. We’ve been assured that they are prepared and ready to respond.


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