President Biden on Friday is visiting Houston after unusually cold weather crippled Texas’ electricity grid last week.
The president and first lady Jill Biden will arrive around noon central time in the state, and will tour a food bank and emergency operations center.
Biden also will visit a COVID-19 vaccination center.
The trip is one of Biden’s first as president and he will take on the role of comforter in chief after the cold snap plunged Texas residents into misery, with burst water pipes in homes and days without heat or electricity.
Because the state rarely experiences extreme cold, its windmills and natural gas pipes were not winterized, resulting in a dramatic loss of energy production capacity.
Unlike most other states, Texas has its own energy grid, meaning neighboring regions could not help alleviate the electric crunch.
Although Houston is the hometown of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who attracted controversy by visiting Cancun, Mexico, during the crisis, the White House swatted away suggestions Biden was trolling the senator with his choice of city to visit.
Houston is forecast for a high of 79 degrees on Friday during Biden’s visit.