- Water problems affect more than 8.7 million people in 200 Texas counties.
- In Houston, the boil water advisory was lifted Sunday evening.
- The weather will cooperate with the cleanup efforts underway in the central United States this week.
Although temperatures warmed in storm-battered Texas on Monday, millions of people still struggled with water shortages, boil water advisories and flood damage from pipes burst, and about 18,000 customers were left without power.
At 10 a.m. Pacific time on Monday, more than 1,200 public water systems were reporting service disruptions due to weather conditions last week, many of which resulted in boil water advisories, a declared the Texas Council on Environmental Quality.
“It affects more than 8.7 million people in 200 counties in Texas,” Gary Rasp, a council spokesperson, told USA TODAY. Most of that 8.7 million are on boil water advisories, he said.
Rasp said 147 public water systems serving a population of just under 120,000 people are not operational. The wastewater treatment facilities of eight public drinking water systems have been declared non-operational, he said.
In Austin, however, a boil water advisory issued last week was lifted for parts of the city on Monday morning, including downtown and areas of East Austin, officials said. Austin Water.
“Austin Water’s central pressure zone customers no longer need to boil water used for drinking, cooking and ice making,” said Austin Water.
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In San Antonio, authorities said Sunday that water had been restored to 98 percent of the city.
And in Houston, the boil water advisory was lifted Sunday night. “The historic freezing temperatures in Houston last week caused water pressure to drop across the city,” said a statement from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “I appreciate everyone’s patience as the Houston Water teams worked tirelessly to restore the pressure and secure TCEQ approval to lift the boil water advisory.”
However, in a tweet, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said: “Sadly, this does not apply to the millions of people facing burst pipes. This is not a disaster that we will recover from. overnight, but we will continue to overcome together as a community. be sure to check out your neighbors during this difficult time. “
More than 70 deaths have been linked to the intense cold and damaging storms that swept through much of the country last week, about half of those in Texas.
Elsewhere, more than 27,000 homes and businesses in West Virginia and 23,000 more in Kentucky were without power as of Monday. That number was around 20,000 in Mississippi and over 20,000 in Oregon.
While power is back on for most Texans, some consumers are facing massive increases in their bills due to variable pricing offered by some electrical service providers.
David Astrein, a Houston resident, director of human resources at a manufacturing company, said he had been billed $ 2,738.66 so far this month compared to $ 129.85 in January for a three-person home. rooms with a detached garage. He and his wife stopped using their dishwasher, washer and dryer and turned on as few lights as possible at night. They saved the heat for their 5 month old son.
Many other outraged residents took to social media to show electricity bills of up to $ 8,000. According to their screenshots, most are customers of Griddy Energy, an electricity supplier with a unique business model in which electricity is based on real-time prices in wholesale electricity markets. , thus exposing consumers to strong price fluctuations.
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The weather will cooperate with the cleanup efforts underway in the central and southern United States this week. Although a rebound in temperatures has started over the weekend, temperatures will moderate even more over the next few days, AccuWeather said. In fact, over the coming week, temperatures are expected to reach 30, 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit higher than during the depths of freezing air on February 13-16.
By Wednesday, highs are expected to range from near 40 in Chicago to 70s in Houston, which will follow mid-last week low temperatures ranging from 5 below zero in Chicago to 13 above zero in Houston.
With the colder air trapped in northern Canada, the heat will be able to flow to the east coast by the middle of the week, AccuWeather said.
Contributing: Kelsey Bradshaw, Luz Moreno-Lozano and Lori Hawkins, American statesman Austin
Read more:Houston mayor calls electrical disaster ‘predictable and preventable’ as Texas heats up after historic storm