Texans face drinking water shortages as power grid returns to normal

5:13 PM / February 19, 2021

Texas Governor Says 165,000 Homes Are Without Power

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that about 165,000 homes statewide are without power due to downed power lines or because residences must manually reconnect to the electrical system.

“There are no more residential power outages due to lack of power generation,” Abbott said.

“For those who do not yet have electricity, we want you to know that local providers are working around the clock to restore electricity,” said the governor.

Abbott said officials also focused on restoring access to clean water. The governor said broken water pipes may be the biggest challenge Texans will face over the next week.

Abbott urged homeowners and renters to contact their insurance providers soon about property damage caused by the week’s bad weather. People who are uninsured can apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help after President Biden approves a major disaster declaration for the state.

3:58 PM / February 19, 2021

Texans without water or shelter face another enemy: rising prices

Texas officials are asking residents to report any price increase incidents.

Houston-area residents have filed complaints about bottled water and hotel rooms being offered at outrageous prices, according to Harris County Prosecutor Christian Menefee, chief civil attorney for the largest county in Texas, and judge from Harris County, Linda Hidalgo.

“We have seen some anecdotal evidence of outrageous prices on necessities like food and water, basically price increases,” Hidalgo said at a press conference.

“Whether it is raising the price of basic necessities, or publishing an Airbnb with electricity for $ 1,000 a night, we cannot imagine anything more cruel than taking advantage of the people who are suffering right now in this disaster and who have been suffering for days”. “added Hidalgo, who urged residents to report abuse.

Read more here.

2:13 PM / February 19, 2021

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raises $ 1 million for Texans

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is from New York, but this week she focuses on Texas. Ocasio-Cortez reacted to the dire situation in the state by creating a fundraiser, which as of Thursday had raised $ 1 million, she said.

Ocasio-Cortez said 100% of donations will go to The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Ending Community Homeless Coalition, Family Eldercare, Houston Food Bank, and Feeding Texas.

Read more here.

1:43 PM / February 19, 2021

Texas was “seconds and minutes” from blackouts for months

The top official for the Texas power grid said the system was “seconds and minutes” away from leaving residents without power for months.

The Texas Electric Reliability Council received intense criticism for leaving some 4 million customers without power this week. Bill Magness, the council’s chairman and chief executive officer, told the Texas Tribune Wednesday that things could have been a lot worse.

Magness told the outlet that grid operators acted quickly to cut off the amount of power distributed on Monday, and had they not done so, Texas could have suffered blackouts that “could have occurred for months” and left the state in a crisis. “indeterminately long”.

“He needed to be addressed immediately,” Magness said. “It was seconds and minutes [from possible failure] given the amount of generation coming out of the system. “

Read more here.

1:04 PM / February 19, 2021

Frozen fire hydrants hamper firefighters

Firefighters in San Antonio fought a massive fire at an apartment complex without the help of fire hydrants Thursday night. Crews had to bring water to the site, where the fire hydrants were frozen.

CBS affiliate KENS-TV showed footage of a fire truck dumping water into a makeshift pool in a parking lot. A different truck would pump water from the pool to the hoses.

“There is a fire hydrant right in front of the building, it’s frozen and none of the hydrants here are working, and they’re all frozen,” Bexar-Bulverde Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jerry Bialick told WOAI-TV.

Bialick told the station firefighters they would use thousands of gallons of water in a matter of minutes.

Neighbors told KENS-TV that the building’s 130 residents escaped safely.

12:31 PM / February 19, 2021

Biden says he plans to visit Texas and declare a major disaster

President Biden says he is making a major disaster declaration for Texas that will clear the way for more federal resources, and he plans to visit the state at a time when it will not interfere with the disaster response.

The disaster declaration will unlock more resources from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for Texas. The president said he will sign the declaration on Friday, after he signed an emergency declaration for the state five days ago.

The president also said he plans to visit Texas, but wants to wait until his presence is not a burden or hinders the disaster relief response.

Read more here.

Updated 12:36 PM / February 19, 2021

Texas grid operators say electrical system is back to normal

Texas grid operators said Friday that the electrical system has returned to normal.

The smaller cuts still remained on Friday. But Bill Magness, president of the Texas Electrical Reliability Council, says the grid again has enough capacity to provide power throughout the system.

Updated 2:23 PM / February 19, 2021

Federal official concerned about people’s heat

FEMA Leader on the Texas Climate Crisis


The acting director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said he is concerned that people are staying warm in Texas. With freezing temperatures forecast for Friday night, Acting Administrator Bob Fenton urged people to go to shelters or warming stations if they don’t already have heat.

“If you’re cold, don’t stay home, go to one of the warming stations,” Fenton said on “CBS This Morning.”

Fenton said his agency was in the state providing supplies like blankets, fuel, food and water.

Fenton encouraged people whose property was damaged by severe weather to first go to their insurance provider before seeking help from the federal government. Texans could get help from the government if the president Biden issues a major disaster declaration for the state.

Updated 11:05 AM / February 19, 2021

Some Texans face high electricity bills

As Power Returns, Texans Face New Challenges


Some Texans will have to deal with surprisingly high electric bills.

Most residents enter into one of two types of contracts with energy providers: a higher fixed or variable rate. With variable, customers take risks and can pay low rates when demand is low and higher rates when demand increases.

Meghan O’Neill, a Houston resident, paid more than $ 2,000 in two days. Your February bill is now over $ 3,000.

“It’s like, okay, do I feed my family or run the heat, which one do I do?” O’Neill said.

Joshua Rhodes, an energy expert at the University of Texas, said those with fixed rates could also pay more in the future.

“That effect will come later, as utilities and the like assess, you know, how much money they need to get back,” Rhodes said. “… In the end, the customer always pays, you know, at the end of this.”

Updated 10:47 AM / February 19, 2021

San Antonio to open water distribution stations

The San Antonio Water System announced Thursday that it will begin providing water distribution at seven pump locations in the city. Residents will receive up to five gallons per person and are advised to boil the water they receive as a precaution.

The City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Food Bank will also provide bottled water distribution at sites around the city.

San Antonio has experienced water outages due to the winter weather emergency, and the San Antonio Water System issued a boil water notice Wednesday for customers who still have access to water.

Updated 10:28 AM / February 19, 2021

Winter Storms Interrupt COVID Vaccine Effort as Variants Fuel New Fears

As Americans yearn for their pre-pandemic lives, the distribution of coronavirus vaccines is being delayed as winter storms hit the US The disease has affected not just how Americans live, but how long. Jonathan Vigliotti reports for “CBS Evening News.”

Storms disrupt vaccination effort amid …


Updated 3:46 PM / February 19, 2021

44 deaths linked to the winter storm

As of Friday afternoon, 44 deaths were related to severe winter weather in seven states.

Most of the deaths were in Texas, with 27 residents dying from incidents related to the storm. This is where they occurred: Harris County, which includes Houston, (14), Taylor County (6), Sugarland (4), Galveston County (2), and San Antonio (1).

Earlier this week, a grandmother and three children died in a house fire in Sugarland. City officials said the neighborhood was without power. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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