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Texas deep freeze: Massive power outages, drinking water shortages throw life out of gear

Texas was hit by a deep freeze leading to shortages of basic necessities such as drinking water and massive power outages. Though power has now been restored in more homes and businesses, many people still lack safe drinking water.

February 19, 2021 / 04:45 PM IST
Power was restored to more homes and businesses on Thursday in states hit by a deadly blast of winter that overwhelmed the electrical grid and left millions shivering in the cold this week. Oncor Electric Delivery linemen Brendan Waldon, left, Austin Strickland, center, and Payton Merket, right, share a conversation as they wait for a new work order after repairing a utility pole damaged by snow and ice on February 18, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (PC-Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)
Power was restored to more homes and businesses on Thursday in states hit by a deadly blast of winter that overwhelmed the electrical grid and left millions shivering in the cold this week. Oncor Electric Delivery linemen Brendan Waldon, left, Austin Strickland, center, and Payton Merket, right, share a conversation as they wait for a new work order after repairing a utility pole damaged by snow and ice on February 18, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (PC-Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)
In Texas on Thursday, about 325,000 homes and businesses remained without power, down from about 3 million a day earlier, though utility officials said limited rolling blackouts were still possible. An Oncor Electric Delivery lineman crew works on repairing a utility pole that was damaged by the winter storm that passed through Texas on February 18, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (PC-Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)
In Texas on Thursday, about 325,000 homes and businesses remained without power, down from about 3 million a day earlier, though utility officials said limited rolling blackouts were still possible. An Oncor Electric Delivery lineman crew works on repairing a utility pole that was damaged by the winter storm that passed through Texas on February 18, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (PC-Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)
The storms also left hundred thousands homes and businesses without power in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. About 70,000 power outages persisted after an ice storm in eastern Kentucky, while nearly 67,000 were without electricity in West Virginia. Oncor apprentice lineman Brendan Waldon repairs a utility pole that was damaged by the winter storm that passed through Texas on February 18, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (PC-Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)
The storms also left hundred thousands homes and businesses without power in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. About 70,000 power outages persisted after an ice storm in eastern Kentucky, while nearly 67,000 were without electricity in West Virginia. Oncor apprentice lineman Brendan Waldon repairs a utility pole that was damaged by the winter storm that passed through Texas on February 18, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (PC-Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)
Oncor apprentice lineman Brendan Waldon puts on a safety harness as he prepares to go up in a bucket to repair a utility pole that was damaged by the winter storm that passed through Texas on February 18, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (PC-Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)
Oncor apprentice lineman Brendan Waldon puts on a safety harness as he prepares to go up in a bucket to repair a utility pole that was damaged by the winter storm that passed through Texas on February 18, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (PC-Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)
Lineman Sean Gregory stretches for a cable as he repairs a transformer in Jackson, Mississippi Februaty 18, 2021. Gregory, who is employed by GPC Corp., an electrical utility contractor, is one of a number of specialists assisting Mississippi power utility company Entergy in restoring electricity to its customers, following a mid-month ice storm. (PC-AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Lineman Sean Gregory stretches for a cable as he repairs a transformer in Jackson, Mississippi Februaty 18, 2021. Gregory, who is employed by GPC Corp., an electrical utility contractor, is one of a number of specialists assisting Mississippi power utility company Entergy in restoring electricity to its customers, following a mid-month ice storm. (PC-AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Carlos Mandez waits in line to fill his propane tanks February 17, 2021, in Houston. Customers had to wait over an hour in the freezing rain to fill their tanks. Millions in Texas still had no power after a historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures created a surge of demand for electricity to warm up homes unaccustomed to such extreme lows, buckling the state's power grid and causing widespread blackouts. (PC-AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Carlos Mandez waits in line to fill his propane tanks February 17, 2021, in Houston. Customers had to wait over an hour in the freezing rain to fill their tanks. Millions in Texas still had no power after a historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures created a surge of demand for electricity to warm up homes unaccustomed to such extreme lows, buckling the state's power grid and causing widespread blackouts. (PC-AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
A water bucket is filled as others wait in near freezing temperatures to use a hose from public park spigot Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in Houston. (PC-AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
A water bucket is filled as others wait in near freezing temperatures to use a hose from public park spigot February 18, 2021, in Houston. (PC-AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
People stand in line outside an HEB grocery store in the snow February 18, 2021, in Austin, Texas. The store did not have milk, eggs, meat or refrigerated items. Temperatures dropped into the single digits as snow shut down air travel and grocery stores.(PC-AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
People stand in line outside an HEB grocery store in the snow February 18, 2021, in Austin, Texas. The store did not have milk, eggs, meat or refrigerated items. Temperatures dropped into the single digits as snow shut down air travel and grocery stores.(PC-AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
A man is loaded onto a bus for a trip to a hotel on February 18, 2021 in Charlotte, N.C. Residents of the homeless encampment "Tent City" are being required to vacate the area within 72 hours after health risks from rodent infestation was found in the area. (PC-Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)
A man is loaded onto a bus for a trip to a hotel on February 18, 2021 in Charlotte, N.C. Residents of the homeless encampment "Tent City" are being required to vacate the area within 72 hours after health risks from rodent infestation was found in the area. (PC-Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)
Victor Hernandez, left, and Luis Martinez fill their water containers with a hose from a spigot in Haden Park, February 18, 2021 in Houston. Texas officials have ordered 7 million people to boil tap water before drinking it following days of record low temperatures that damaged infrastructure and froze pipes. (PC-Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Victor Hernandez, left, and Luis Martinez fill their water containers with a hose from a spigot in Haden Park, February 18, 2021 in Houston. Texas officials have ordered 7 million people to boil tap water before drinking it following days of record low temperatures that damaged infrastructure and froze pipes. (PC-Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)
A woman living on the streets uses blankets to keep warm, February 18, 2021, in downtown San Antonio. Snow, ice and sub-freezing weather continue to wreak havoc on the state's power grid and utilities. (PC-AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A woman living on the streets uses blankets to keep warm, February 18, 2021, in downtown San Antonio. Snow, ice and sub-freezing weather continue to wreak havoc on the state's power grid and utilities. (PC-AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Donated water is distributed to residents, February 18, 2021, in Houston. Houston and several surrounding cities are under a boil water notice as many residents are still without running water in their homes. (PC-AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Donated water is distributed to residents, February 18, 2021, in Houston. Houston and several surrounding cities are under a boil water notice as many residents are still without running water in their homes. (PC-AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Tom Keller walks across the gymnasium floor in a warming shelter at St. Martin's Lutheran Church on West 15th Street in downtown Austin, Texas, February 18, 2021. Church members opened the shelter Sunday and have been sheltering and feeding more than 20 homeless people during the winter storm. (PC-Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Tom Keller walks across the gymnasium floor in a warming shelter at St. Martin's Lutheran Church on West 15th Street in downtown Austin, Texas, February 18, 2021. Church members opened the shelter Sunday and have been sheltering and feeding more than 20 homeless people during the winter storm. (PC-Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Allan Woodson rests in a warming shelter at St. Martin's Lutheran Church on West 15th Street in downtown Austin, Texas, February 18, 2021. Church members opened the shelter Sunday and have been sheltering and feeding more than 20 homeless people during the winter storm. (PC-Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Allan Woodson rests in a warming shelter at St. Martin's Lutheran Church on West 15th Street in downtown Austin, Texas, February 18, 2021. Church members opened the shelter Sunday and have been sheltering and feeding more than 20 homeless people during the winter storm. (PC-Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
A man walks across a frozen lake at Cottonwood Park in Richardson, Texas, February. 18, 2021. Temperatures in the region continue to remain below freezing heading into Friday. (PC-AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
A man walks across a frozen lake at Cottonwood Park in Richardson, Texas, February. 18, 2021. Temperatures in the region continue to remain below freezing heading into Friday. (PC-AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Associated Press

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