Texas: Homes And Businesses Lit Again; Water Vicissitude Grows

Story Highlights
  • Storm proceeding towards the Appalachians, North Maryland, and further ahead
  • Frigid temperatures instilled water shortage
  • Power supplies regained in about 3 million homes

Texas: Hard times prevailed as the deadly blast of winter cascaded the US leaving about 325,000 homes and businesses shut in Texas. The bleak winds overwhelmed the electrical grid of the nation and left millions shivering for a week. However, power was restored to homes and businesses recently. But the crisis still persists as the shortage of water remained unresolved.

About 70,000 power outages persisted after an ice storm in eastern Kentucky, while nearly 67,000 were without electricity in West Virginia.  Maria Pope, the CEO of Portland General Electric, said she expects power to be restored by Friday night to more than 90% of the customers still in the dark. While more than 100,000 customers remained without power in Oregon.

The National Weather Service reported the snow and ice moved into the Appalachians, northern Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, and later the Northeast. Back-to-back storms left 15 inches (38 centimetres) of snow in Little Rock, Arkansas, tying a 1918 record.

The extreme weather claimed 4 dozen people. Carbon monoxide presented to be the commonest cause in Houston. Some hospitals in Austin also lost water pressure and heat leading to surges in cases. However, few hospitals in Houston’s Methodist community still treated non-emergency cases. 

Adding to the misery, the weather jeopardized the water system across the state. Authorities have ordered the citizens to boil water before consuming it, following record low temperatures that might have damaged infrastructure and pipes. A drop in the water pressure was noticed after the pipeline froze because many people left faucets dripping to prevent pipe burst.  Abbott urged residents to shut off water to their homes to prevent more busted pipes and preserve pressure in municipal systems.

The next task of the state’s disaster response team is to test the drinking water system before restoring their supplies to the public.

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