Massive, cascading issues with Texas’ supply of heating, water, food and medicine caused by widespread power outages in the state continue as power grids are improved.
As of Thursday, power was down for fewer than 500,000 Texas customers – from over 3 million outages a day earlier.
According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), they had already made “significant progress” restoring power overnight.
However, the ongoing cold and the threat of another winter storm continues to affect the system’s power generation, and the company hints that rotating outages may be needed over the next couple of days.
Areas where ice has damaged the distribution system, areas where service needs to be restored manually and large industrial facility that voluntarily went offline to help with grid overload are those who still do not have power restored.
ERCOT’s announcement comes after it has been forecasted that freezing temperatures will continue in the already struggling state on Thursday, extending an already excruciating period.
The City of Kyle, located in south of Austin, asked residents to suspend their water use until further notice due to the shortage.
“Water should only be used to sustain life at this point,” city officials said in an advisory.
“We are close to running out of water supply in Kyle.”
As of Thursday, 16 Texans have died due to the extreme weather, and nearly 12 million people are facing water disruptions, with boil-water notices, broken pipes and failing systems.
“The message though is, number one, the power is fragile because of the impacts throughout, and number two, we now have water issues,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.
“Hospitals have issues. We have water pressure issues. We’re all on boil-water notices and folks are having trouble accessing food.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott warned residents to brace for continued suffering.
“Most of the state will be below freezing,” he said during a media briefing.
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