Extremely cold winter weather has caused the American state of Texas to have the power out of around two million households this week, but this problem is almost remedied on Friday. The problem now is drinking water. Thirteen out of nearly thirty million Texans have been advised to boil the water first. The power outages of the past five days have also turned off the water treatment plants.
Governor Greg Abbott has asked President Joe Biden to declare a state of emergency so that Texas can count on more money and help to deal with the crises. Abbott has called on the people‘s representation in the state to make new rules so that what has happened to many over the last five days can no longer be avoided. Texas needs to be better prepared for very cold weather.
In many areas, overhead power cables have been depleted by ice. Abbott is angry with the authorities who are going over the power grid. He complains that the Texas Electricity Reliability Council (Ercot) had assured that the network was able to withstand the cold before the winter storm came.
In many places, however, the power has not yet been restored, and in many places there is no water to boil through jumped pipes or other problems due to frost. In some places such as San Antonio and Houston, places for the distribution of large plastic bottles of water have been set up. Numerous places, especially in the north of Texas, are still unreachable due to snow and ice. It is feared that the extreme winter weather has cost at least 20 people the lives of, and that would be about as much as in the rest of the cold-hit country.
However, it is still unclear how many fatalities are due to the freezing cold. For example, people were killed by a fire created by a fireplace. That fire might not have arisen if it hadn’t been so cold. Also, deaths have been reported by carbon monoxide poisoning due to alternative sources of heating. Many states in the US suffer from unusually cold winter weather, especially Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oregon and Tennessee. It does not look like the weather will be significantly softer this weekend.