Tens of millions of Texans remained with out secure consuming water Sunday as state officers sought to ramp up bottled water distribution and calm residents who’ve seen spiking electrical energy payments within the aftermath of a extreme winter storm that left the state battered.
Boil water notices have been lifted for roughly 5 million of the 14.9 million individuals who have been advised their water wasn’t secure to drink two days in the past, mentioned Toby Baker, government director of the state Fee on Environmental High quality, in a information convention Sunday .
The notices have been issued after days of record-low temperatures broken the state’s water infrastructure.
Almost 3.5 million bottles of water had been distributed by helicopter, airplane and truck throughout the state, Gov. Greg Abbott mentioned Sunday.
The announcement got here as sprawling traces might be seen at distribution websites in some components of Texas. Vanessa Fuentes, a metropolis councilwoman in Austin, posted a video showing dozens of cars outdoors a soccer advanced south of downtown Austin.
Almost 700 instances got out earlier than the occasion even started at 11 a.m., she mentioned, and at one other web site, vehicles started lining up 5 hours earlier than distribution began.
“The affect from this devastating disaster can be felt for days,” she tweeted.
In Houston, officers mentioned a boil water discover that had been place since Wednesday was lifted after testing discovered the town’s faucet water met regulatory requirements, whereas in San Antonio, roughly a 3rd of the town’s 1.5 million individuals remained below a boil water order, Baker mentioned.
Abbott mentioned clients who noticed their electrical energy charges soar after enormous swaths of the state misplaced energy final week — and demand surged in Texas’ market-based system — could be shielded from “unreasonable” payments.
In some instances, these payments have topped $10,000.
Disconnections over non-payments can be halted, he mentioned, including that he met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers Saturday who agreed to fast-track laws.
President Joe Biden has signed a significant catastrophe declaration making federal funding accessible to counties hit exhausting by final week’s storm. Greater than 4 million clients misplaced energy, and no less than 22 individuals have died in reference to the state’s winter climate.