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Texas Water Shortage Looms Even As Power Returns

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A Texas water shortage is looming even as power is slowly coming back. With electricity returning for the majority of Texas homes, a new issue arrives. Water shortages caused by frozen or burst pipes are now becoming a problem for residents.

RELATED: Texas Power Problems Persist As Deep Freeze Continues

Now, health officials are advising Texans to boil tap water before attempting to drink it. According to the Texas Commission on  Environmental Quality, nearly 680 water systems issued boil water notices. Around 264,000 Texans reside in areas with nonoperational water systems.

Severe Winter Conditions

Millions of Texans lost electricity and heat over the weekend as an arctic cold front descended on the central US. Roads were icy and dangerous for travel while airports canceled flights. Many local water systems and oil pipelines froze. This rendered many power plants offline. Consequently, many homes plunged into darkness. Light, heat, and communications all went down.

However, staying home also carried risks in places without power. The lack of power and heat pushed some residents to burn old furniture to stay warm. Meanwhile, other residents had to deal with flooded basements and collapsed ceilings as pipes froze and burst. Rolling outages became total blackouts as supply outstripped demand. As utility companies raced to bring back power, a new problem emerged. Frozen water pipelines are now choking off the water supply. 

New Storm Incoming

The National Weather Service advised that another major winter storm is arriving from the Lower Mississippi Valley into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast by Friday. The condition might bring more heavy snow and freezing rain, which will complicate recovery efforts. The projected extreme winter weather this week will bring a new wave of problems, especially in the water supply.

The White House announced Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supplied generators to Texas. The agency is also preparing to move diesel into the state to ensure the continued availability of backup power to key critical infrastructure, including hospitals. Press secretary Jen Psaki added that FEMA will also supply Texas with water and blankets.

Texas Cities Facing Water Problems

In Austin, the city’s electric utility service warned of outages that can last longer than Wednesday. The city also issued a boil water notice after Austin’s largest water treatment facility lost power and water pressure dropped. In fact, one hospital needed to transfer some patients to other facilities after they lost water pressure, which affected the heating system.

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Meanwhile, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that restoring full utility services will take another couple of days. Similarly, the city is also on a boil water notice since Wednesday morning. The public works department reported more than 1,500 calls about water leaks and water main breaks since Monday. Even as the boil water notice is in effect, “they don’t have the power to boil the water,” remarked Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. Until the state restores full power, residents will find it difficult to boil water on their own.

Galveston Also Reported More Broken Pipes

In Galveston, engineers reported broken water lines across the island city because of freezing temperatures. It is also under a boil water notice. The city reported that with the power down for a number of days now, many residents reported an “unprecedented” number of broken pipes. “Now that power is slowly coming back on and temperatures are rising, we are experiencing a massive amount of water damage to homes and businesses,” the city said in a statement.

Texas Water Shortage

Weather officials expect that the freezing overnight temperatures will continue at least until Saturday. Even after full power gets back as the ice melts, Texas’ water systems will need bacteriological sampling to ensure they are free from contaminants. According to the state’s environmental quality commission, sampling can take up to 24 hours. Texas will also request help from neighboring states in treating its water systems.

What can help Texas most at the moment?

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What kind of help do you think Texas needs right now? What help should the federal government or neighbor states give? Let us know what you think can help the frozen state of Texas at this point. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  • Mayor Floyd Petri says:

    I am a Mayor and my city was running out of water fast. More going out than pumping in. I tried to post an Emergency Message on FaceBook on the Mayors Gvernment page but I was banned and could not post. Seems that 3 hours earlier I answered a gun question in WWII history and FaceBook banned me for 24 hours during a Declared Emergency. I tried to email them, but all FaceBooks email addresses were no good and all messages returned not delivered. I tried calling but got a machine that said they could not help me. It seems 1st Amendment Rights have gone on FaceBook. A small city does not have the money or a city attorney to sue FaceBook.

  • Honest says:

    I wish that all good citizens would drop Face Face and stay away forever ~ Seems like they think like they can censor all people thoughts Probably run by Mao see Toung

  • Branden Oconnell says:

    Seems your full of nonsense and lies and it’s good Facebook dropped you and I feel bad a public servant is failing to be honest enough to be on a platform that allows nazis and kkk… maybe you should resign and let someone else take over maybe then your people can get the services they need

  • Martin Kronmann says:

    It seems Brandon Oconnell is the the true Nazi, and part of the Brown Shirt Groups of the socialists in this country! The tech giants in this country have developed too much power and have been infiltrated by self rightous liberals.

  • Huapakechi says:

    Mayor Floyd P.
    I would get hold of your state AG and the governor and build a fire under their ass.

  • Huapakechi says:

    BRANDEN OCONNELL

    Flush you! Censoring the mayor over a historical reference and DELIBERATELY blocking any appeal, even when the health and welfare of the residents are at risk is worse than negligence.

  • JJ Johnson says:

    Brandon Oconnell Is the real prick here!🖕🏼

  • JJ Johnson says:

    Yup

  • Chas says:

    One has to ask themselves, where is China Joe’s response and n all this? Isn’t his job to send in fema during a national situation. Not a peep from him… To busy tearing apart this country I reckon…!!!

  • Ron Decker says:

    Texas will recover stronger then ever. The will identify the week points and work to resolve the [rpblems that are identified. California has had a water problem. Californi has a power problem. California has a forest management problem. California has a short fall budget problem. California as a homeless problem. California has had these problems for years and have done nothing to eliminate any of these problems for decades, in fact has exasterbated each. Texas will recover.

  • masterredfox says:

    From what I am learning about the utility problems in Texas, the main issue had to do with providing service at the cheapest level. There’s a saying, buy cheap, you will get cheap. What’s funny about the cheap service in Texas, it was decided on by people who have the money to get the best but they cut corners to get more profit. And now, they are going to moan about the cost of fixing their mistake.

  • Anna says:

    So true. Wind turbines in Texas are identical to those in Nebraska – who did not ‘skimp on the extras’ to make them more insulated for weather without saying NO to the extra cost. Texas Energy company wants to line THEIR pockets – at even Missouri’s expense because in sub-zero weather Missouri had outages over 4 hours long trying to help keep Texas energy from failing COMPLETELY.
    HEADS IN TEXAS NEED TO ROLL !

    Maybe for every new unit that connects ‘to the grid’ there needs to be a ‘start cost’ and SOMEBODY needs to figure out “just how many units” can be on any ONE LINE without stressing another one locally ~ and DEFINATELY without stressing people having their own issues/needs hundreds of miles away…just sayin’

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