Abbott addresses Texans again on power outages and water services

19 Février, 2021, 20:19 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • People wait in freezing rain in Houston Texas                     Image PA

But the crisis was far from over, with many people still in need of safe drinking water.

More than 190,000 homes and businesses remained without power in Texas according to poweroutage.us, down from about 3 million two days earlier.

The NWS said the storm would bring ice, sleet and heavy snow to parts of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and MS as it tracks to the northeast, causing power outages, tree damage and making driving hazardous.

The snow and ice moved into the Appalachians, northern Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, and later the Northeast as the extreme weather was blamed for the deaths of at least 58 people, including a Tennessee farmer trying to save two calves that apparently wandered into a frozen pond and 17-year-old Oklahoma girl who fell into a frozen pond.

In the Houston area, one family succumbed to carbon monoxide from auto exhaust in their garage.

A grandmother and three children died when flames escaped the fireplace they were using to keep warm.

Utilities from Minnesota to Texas used rolling blackouts to ease strained power grids.

More than 800 public water systems serving 162 of the state's 254 counties had been disrupted as of Thursday, affecting 13.1 million people, according to a spokesperson for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Rotating outages for Texas could return if electricity demand rises as power and heating returns, said Dan Woodfin, the council's senior director of system operations.

Power outages in Texas have dropped below 1 million for the first time in four days, but many people remained without electricity or safe drinking water after winter storms wreaked havoc on the state's power grid and utilities.

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Adding to the misery, the snowy weather has jeopardised drinking water systems throughout the state. About 13 million Texans, almost half the state's population, remained under a boil-water advisory Thursday, according to Executive Director for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Toby Baker.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott warned that residents in his state were "not out of the woods", as temperatures were still well below freezing statewide. Abbott urged residents to shut off water to prevent more busted pipes and preserve municipal system pressure.

U.S. president Joe Biden said he called Abbott yesterday evening and offered additional support from the federal government to state and local agencies.

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner said residents will probably have to boil tap water in the fourth-largest U.S. city until Sunday or Monday.

FEMA sent generators to support water treatment plants, hospitals and nursing homes in Texas, along with thousands of blankets and ready-to-eat meals, officials said. The Texas Restaurant Association was coordinating food donations to hospitals.

In Jackson, Mississippi, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said most of the city of about 150,000 was without water Thursday night.

"We have no other priority than getting them electricity".

Weathersby went outside collecting buckets of ice to melt it so she could flush her toilet and said "my back's hurting now".

In Tennessee, 12 people were rescued from boats after a dock weighed down by snow and ice collapsed on the Cumberland River on Wednesday night, the Nashville Fire Department said. Elsewhere in the state, a 9-year-old boy was killed when the tube his father was pulling behind an ATV slammed into a mailbox.

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