Lina Hidalgo, judge for Harris County, Texas, where Houston is located, warned residents to buckle up for the possibility of a few more days without power. Hidalgo also serves as the county’s chief executive.

About 2.5 million people and 34 cities in Harris County do not have power, Hidalgo said on CNN’s “New Day.” Pipes are bursting, many residents do not have water and hospitals are reporting issues as well after a winter storm bringing ice and frigid temperatures gripped the state, she said.  

“The energy is really at the heart of it, and we don’t have an end in sight for when that is going to pass,” Hidalgo said. 

Hidalgo said state and local leaders are working with utilities companies to get power back on in the short term, and then determine what went wrong.  

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is a major grid operator that controls about 90% of the state’s electric load.

“Over the past couple of days, we’ve heard from ERCOT that they are bringing generators back up, but on the ground, fewer and fewer people have had power. So what I’ve said is give it to us straight,” Hidalgo said. “And I’m telling my community do not expect the power to come back even after the weather passes. So, you know, right now we’re trying to survive the impacts of the power and getting ready for several days maybe — we don’t know how long — without power. And just hoping that the grid sustains itself.”

“ERCOT needs to get its generators back up, and I do not trust they’re in a place to say we’re going to get it back up today, tomorrow. I believe it’s going to take some time, and that’s what I’m explaining to my residents,” she added.