Thursday, 25 February, 2021

Southern cities hit hard by storms face new crisis: No water

A famly melts snow on their stovetop to get water in Austin Texas Feb. 17 2021 A famly melts snow on their stovetop to get water in Austin Texas Feb. 17 2021
Sandy Nunez | 20 February, 2021, 15:23

Crews are pumping water to refill city tanks but faced a shortage of chemicals to treat the water, she said, adding: "We are dealing with an extreme challenge with getting more water through our distribution system". "Who knows when we'll get plumbing back?" He also said he would travel to the state if his visit would not hamper those working there to handle the crisis.

Smaller outages remained, but Bill Magness, president of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, said the grid now can provide power throughout the entire system.

"The president also expressed that his administration was at the ready should the state of Texas or any other impacted region need additional federal disaster support or assistance as severe storms move across the USA", the statement read.

A group of Texans line up for water being given out to people in need by a brewery in Austin, Texas, on Friday.

"Temperatures will be dangerously cold with damage to exposed pipes and additional water main breaks expected", the National Weather Service said in a warning issued Thursday.

Hundreds of thousands of residents of the Texas metropolis of Houston were suffering from both power outages and a loss of water pressure.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that Biden had been receiving updates about Texas and the surrounding states impacted by the bad weather a few times a day. Another in Houston had to haul in water on trucks to flush toilets.

"Because this is a statewide emergency situation that is also impacting other hospitals within the Austin area, no one hospital now has the capacity to accept transport of a large number of patients", St. David's South Austin Medical Center CEO David Huffstutler said in a statement.

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At least 70 deaths had occurred as a result of the recent winter weather in the wider United States, according to a report from The Associated Press on Friday.

And emergency medical authorities around the state said dozens of others have been treated for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, while 77 were treated for hypothermia in northern Texas Tuesday. The current cold front formed last weekend is bringing in temperatures far below normal and wreaking havoc on the state's ill-prepared infrastructure.

Texas has struggled with power outages since the storm hit earlier this week.

The power situation gradually improved in Texas throughout the week, but the winter weather didn't let up, and some problems related to the emergency persisted.

Major disruptions to the Texas power grid left more than 4 million households without power this week, but by Thursday evening, only about 347,000 lacked electricity.

Beyond permitting only 94 of the state's 600 facilities to participate in the virtual meeting centered on preparing for winter, ERCOT also did not require any plants to adapt their protocols for the colder months, instead just offering a list of suggested guidance for plant operators to follow voluntarily.

In Jackson, Mississippi, 161,000 people were without water Thursday, AP reported.