Freezing Texans now warned water not safe

Shweta SharmaThu, 18 February 2021, 8:39 am

<p>An aerial photo made with a drone shows snow and ice on Lake Michigan after an overnight snowfall left more than 18 inches (45.72C) on the ground and roadways in Wilmette, Illinois, USA, 16 February 2021. </p> (EPA)
An aerial photo made with a drone shows snow and ice on Lake Michigan after an overnight snowfall left more than 18 inches (45.72C) on the ground and roadways in Wilmette, Illinois, USA, 16 February 2021.(EPA)

Warnings have been issued across Texas to boil water for drinking as its levels went dangerously low and treatment plants faced issues due to power outages, adding to the misery of residents already reeling under multiple days of freezing temperatures.

Nearly seven million Texans have been advised to boil water for drinking since Wednesday as the administration issued as many as 276 notices, said Toby Baker, head of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

“As of noon today, there were 332 local water systems reporting impacts in 110 counties across the state, 276 issued boil water notices,” said Mr Baker.

The water systems reported disruptions as the state continued to face outages after a severe winter storm blasted the region with frigid temperatures and power plants got overwhelmed with the spiked demand for energy, causing blackouts.

People have been asked not to keep water running from faucets, a method often used to avoid pipe burst, and to conserve water as the levels went low.

“Water pressure is very low. Please do not run water to keep pipes from bursting,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a tweet on Wednesday morning. “Turn off water if pipes have burst. Please contact us if you don’t know how to turn off the water. Be conservative on water usage today. It is needed for hospitals and fires.”

Some of the cities that have been given “boil water notices” are Lampasas, Riesel, Gatesville, Mexia, Belton, Lorena and Copperas Cove, according to kxxv.com news. Residents of northern Fort Worth, as well as people in Keller, Southlake, and Roanoke, were also issued same orders.

Videos on Twitter showed people queuing up in a snow-covered public park in Houston to fill buckets of water as people suffered water shortages as either pipeline were frozen or damaged. In Houston, more than one million people suffered blackouts on Wednesday, and more than 1,500 calls were received about water leaks or water shortage since Monday, according to reports.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-10&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1362210811092082688&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fuk.yahoo.com%2Fnews%2Fofficer-shot-tyre-king-13-233405764.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=889aa01%3A1612811843556&width=550px

More videos showed bursting pipes wreaking havoc in houses, leading to flooding and roof collapse. Animal lives have also been severely affected by the winter storm, with heartbreaking videos showing dogs, turtles and birds freezing to death.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-11&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1362291130188980225&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fuk.yahoo.com%2Fnews%2Fofficer-shot-tyre-king-13-233405764.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=889aa01%3A1612811843556&width=550pxhttps://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-12&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1362266905227091974&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fuk.yahoo.com%2Fnews%2Fofficer-shot-tyre-king-13-233405764.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=889aa01%3A1612811843556&width=550pxhttps://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-13&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1362283357715918852&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fuk.yahoo.com%2Fnews%2Fofficer-shot-tyre-king-13-233405764.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=889aa01%3A1612811843556&width=550px

In no possible further relief to the residents, Texas utility company Austin said people could remain without power for another week or more. It said in a series of tweets that customers should expect outages to continue until the situation improves.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-14&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1362033576833785860&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fuk.yahoo.com%2Fnews%2Fofficer-shot-tyre-king-13-233405764.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=889aa01%3A1612811843556&width=550px

Carbon monoxide poisoning has emerged as another fatal threat to residents as they looked for alternative means to stay warm. People purposely left their car running in the garage in order to generate heat, leading to carbon monoxide leak.

About 300 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning were reported to Texas officials.

Additionally, people continued to die from hypothermia.