Freezing temperatures in the south have not only led to power outages and increased electricity bills, but have also resulted in broken water pipes and shortages of clean drinking water.
The Associated Press reported that record-low temperatures caused water pipes to burst, shutting down the Memphis airport on Friday and leaving hospitals “struggling to maintain sanitary conditions.”
From the AP:
In Texas, 7 million people — a quarter of the population of the nation’s second-largest state — were under orders to boil tap water before drinking it because low water pressure could have allowed bacteria to seep into the system. A man died at an Abilene health care facility when a lack of water pressure made medical treatment impossible.
About 260,000 homes and businesses in the Tennessee county that includes Memphis were told to boil water because of water main ruptures and pumping station problems. Restaurants that can’t do so or don’t have bottled water were ordered to close. And water pressure problems prompted Memphis International Airport to cancel all incoming and outgoing Friday flights.
In Jackson, Mississippi, most of the city of about 161,000 had no running water. Crews pumped water to refill city tanks but faced a shortage of chemicals for treatment because icy roads made it difficult for distributors to deliver them, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said.
In Jackson, people were provided water for flushing toilets and drinking, if residents picked it up in person, which was difficult for many residents due to icy roads.
As The Daily Wire’s Eric Quintanar reported last week, water utility officials in Austin, Texas, announced that residents should boil their water prior to consumption.
“As a result of the extreme weather conditions, a city-wide boil water notice has been issued due to power loss at The Ullrich Water Treatment Plant, Austin Water’s largest water treatment facility, and drops in water pressures below minimum standards,” Austin Water said in a statement. “We worked with Austin Energy to quickly assess our system and restore power and are in the process of bringing Ullrich Water Treatment Plant back online.”
In a tweet, the utility service even explained exactly how to boil water under such a notice. More from The Daily Wire:
According to The Austin American-Statesman, the Texas Commission on Water Quality requires boil water notices to go out when water pressure drops below minimum standards, and the notice will remain in place until it is rescinded. Currently, millions of other Texas residents are under similar water advisories, have been instructed to stop using tap water, or have been instructed to conserve water due to looming shortages.
“Water should only be used to sustain life at this point,” said the city of Kyle, Texas, which has 45,000 residents, reports The Associated Press. “We are close to running out of water supply in Kyle.”
Shortages have also been affecting the Texas energy grid, which left millions of Texans without power amidst the wave of cold weather. In response to calls to conserve energy, the Texas Capitol has gone dark, with the exception of certain safety lights, according to the local news outlet KXAN.
As the winter storm that caused the issues begins to fade, some of the problems are starting to alleviate, though consequences will be felt for weeks to come.
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