Biden says he is ready to declare major disaster in Texas

Pablo Tucker
February 20, 2021

White House homeland security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall said 1 million or more people are still experiencing power outages as a result of the storm that has engulfed Texas and other areas of the United States.

With billions of dollars in damage expected from the historic Texas winter storm, a state regulator plans to collect data from property insurers to assess costs stemming from a crippled electrical grid, roofing collapses, broken pipes and other problems, a spokesman said on Friday. Boil-water advisories remain in effect for most of the state's major cities, including Austin, Arlington, Galveston, Houston, San Antonio and parts of Forth Worth.

This is the second day in a row Abbott has addressed the public on the on-going freeze-related issues.

While ERCOT attempts to save face with angry and cold Texans who suffered widespread, days-long power outages that were only supposed to last for up to 45 minutes during record subzero temperatures, almost 12 million people in the Lone Star State are struggling with water problems such as lack of water, boil notices, and frozen pipes that suddenly burst, flooding their residences and businesses.


"We are dealing with an extreme challenge with getting more water through our distribution system", Lumumba said.

Two of Houston Methodist's community hospitals had no running water and still treated patients but canceled most non-emergency surgeries and procedures for Thursday and possibly Friday, said spokeswoman Gale Smith.

Water infrastructure across the state burst as water turned to ice during the storm.

According to PowerOutage.US, 674,000 customers in Texas were still without power by Thursday morning, the only one of the US's 48 continental states to have its own independent power grid.


About 165,000 Texas households were still without power Friday thanks to downed power lines and connection failures, not a lack of electricity generation, allowing ERCOT to lift emergency conditions. He said the question ultimately becomes "why weren't we prepared?" and "what can we do to ensure this doesn't happen again?"

However, water supplies remain low in Texas. Residents, businesses and even hospitals are being asked to conserve water as cities race to restore and stabilize their water supply. "Please do not run water to keep pipes from bursting". There are now no plans to use federal troops for ground-based support in Texas, though FEMA will be sending non-military personnel, the official said.

And emergency medical authorities around the state said dozens of others have been treated for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, while 77 were treated for hypothermia in northern Texas Tuesday. The city has stepped in and is distributing clean water across the metroplex. Much of the statewide concern had turned to water woes.

"I expect that over the next several days, we will make repairs to the water systems and get things functioning as close to normal as possible", the governor said in a live event with the Washington Post.


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