Millions of Texans woke up Thursday morning still without heat, electricity or water — with the historic cold snap that crippled the powe
Millions of Texans woke up Thursday morning still without heat, electricity or water — with the historic cold snap that crippled the power grid expected to linger for several more days.
As of early Thursday, 2.7 million Texas households were still without heat, while upward of 12 million people either have no drinking water on tap in their homes or have drinking water available only intermittently.
It has particularly devastated some hospitals, forcing people to refrain from washing their hands despite it being the most basic safety measure, especially the coronavirus pandemic.
Some communities have become completely isolated with frozen roads still impassable in parts of the state.
“This is in many ways disasters within the disaster,” said Judge Lina Hidalgo, the top elected official in Harris County, which encompasses Houston. “The cascading effects are not going to go away.”
So far, no more storm deaths appear to have been reported from the 23 announced on Wednesday.
Officials suspect many more people have died — but their bodies have not been discovered yet, according to Reuters.
While the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), a cooperative responsible for 90% of the state’s electricity, claimed “progress” in getting power back on the grid, the historic cold snap that crippled it will leave freezing temperatures for several more days, meteorologists warn.
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But the most severe parts of the storm were finally moving away from the Lone Star State, weather watchers said.
“The worst is over and things will be getting better through the weekend,” Dan Petersen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland, said.
Governor Greg Abbott has demanded an investigation into ERCOT, with critics accusing it of failing to heed federal warnings after a similar cold-weather meltdown in 2011.
Abbott said that “every source of power the state of Texas has access to has been compromised because of the cold temperature or because of equipment failures.”
Former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke blamed the “inaction & ineptitude” of Abbott and the governor’s team.
“Texans are suffering without power because those in power have failed us,” he tweeted.
With Post wires