Sunday, 28 February, 2021

Texas has some electricity restored, as water issues continue

By Canadian Press	
	 		Texas outages below half-million but water crisis persists By Canadian Press Texas outages below half-million but water crisis persists
Sandy Nunez | 19 February, 2021, 12:10

"We are dealing with an extreme challenge with getting more water through our distribution system", he said.

May parts of the state are under a boil water order due low water pressure.

Although electricity has been mostly restored, more than 13 million people - nearly half of the state's population - don't now have access to clean, running water.

The utility also said it is seeing reduced reservoir levels at pumping stations and several water mains have burst. But the crisis was far from over, with many people still in need of safe drinking water.

Texas officials ordered seven million people - a quarter of the population of the nation's second largest state - to boil tap water before drinking it following days of record low temperatures that have damaged infrastructure and frozen pipes.

Power was cut to a New Orleans facility that pumps drinking water from the Mississippi River and generators were used until electricity was restored. Another family died while using a fireplace to keep warm.

Along the East Coast, the snow and ice are causing serious auto crashes and pulling down power lines, plunging tens of thousands into the dark.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the top official in the most populous county in Texas, on Wednesday said the storms were straining not only the local electric grid but triggering a cascade of effects, including lost water pressure, carbon monoxide poisoning and halted Covid-19 vaccinations.

According to ERCOT, 800 megawatts daily can be transferred through connections to the eastern grid and 400 megawatts per day through the Mexican grid, but that total is insufficient to meet Texas' current needs.

Power was restored to more homes and businesses in Texas on Thursday after a deadly blast of winter this week overwhelmed the electrical grid and left millions shivering in the cold.

"In the areas that contend with these devastating ice accumulations, residents can expect unsafe travel conditions, numerous power outages, and extensive tree damage", the weather service said in its latest update.

"We shouldn't be having this problem for as long as it's gone on", said Larry Rios, a 48-year-old contractor on Wednesday, his voice rising in anger as he spoke.

Australian PM promises probe after rape allegation
She said the man left immediately afterwards, and she wasn't offered assistance by security guards on her way out of parliament. Mr Morrison denied his party had a "women problem" before the 2019 general election, after the departure of several female MPs.

The homeland security adviser added that power grids in Texas and across the country "are overloaded by the demands that are placed on them under these circumstances".

"The cost associated with addressing climate change and improving our infrastructure's resilience is always going to be less than the cost of rebuilding or failing to act, " Carper said.

MENAFN provides the information "as is" without warranty of any kind.

The massive storm system has been blamed for at least 30 deaths in the USA this week. In the Houston area, one family died from carbon monoxide as their auto idled in their garage.

Here's a look at videos that show just how much damage the storms have caused.

In addition to residents' outrage at elected leaders and other officials in several states for insufficient storm preparation, one US senator faced particular condemnation for an ill-timed vacation.

FILE - Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asks a question during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Oct. 29, 2019, in Washington.

The senator, in a statement released Thursday, acknowledged the suffering Texans were experiencing, noting, "Our homes are freezing and our lights are out".

"It was too cold to be home with no food, no water", Maxwell said. Abbott urged residents to shut off water to their homes to prevent more busted pipes and preserve pressure in municipal systems.

"Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon", he said. Officials say they suspect many more people have died, but their bodies have not yet been discovered.

"We have been caught in the middle of something here where there have been individuals who have not had electricity or power for about three and a half days now [and] it's zero degrees", Evans said of Mansfield, a suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.