In response to the serious disruptions of the power and water networks in Texas, US President Biden has declared the state a disaster area. Texas has been plagued by extreme winter weather for days, and after a peak power load on the grid, millions of residents were left out of power. More than half of the Texans still have reduced access to clean water.
By declaring the state a disaster area, money can be made available at the federal level to the affected inhabitants. For example, it can be used for temporary housing, housing repairs and loans for people who are poorly insured and have damage.
Meanwhile it no longer freezes in Texas and many people have power back in their homes, but the state is still facing serious problems due to the extreme weather. At least 70 people died, including carbon monoxide poisoning, burning from heaters and hypothermia. In dwellings in different places, bodies of people who are supposedly frozen to death in recent days were found.
Furthermore, many people without food and camps still have some 14 million Texans with problems with water supply.
In about half of the state, the advice is to boil water before use, because due to the power failure, the water treatment systems do not work or do not work properly. Also in parts where the purification systems have not been flattened, there are problems with water supply. Many pipelines have been shut down for fear of freezing.
Residents who do not have access to water are advised to collect melt water from snow to flush, for example, the toilet. They are also advised to ask for help from their neighbors.
Meanwhile, there is plenty of hoarding in the state and running out of food in some stores. Food banks are also increasingly difficult to meet the high demand.
Biden wants to go to Texas
President Biden plans to visit Texas, but says he will not do so until he does not burden the state. “When the president lands in any city in America, it has a big tail. And they work their way out there to take care of their people,” he said.