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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Outages Drop Below 1 Million In Texas; Icy Weather Goes East

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Power outages in Texas dropped beneath 1 million on Thursday morning for the primary time in 4 days, however many individuals remained with out electrical energy or secure ingesting water after winter storms wreaked havoc on the state’s energy grid and utilities.

Meanwhile, heavy snow and ice had been anticipated Thursday within the Appalachians, northern Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, with the wintry climate transferring into the Northeast by dusk.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, 15 inches of snow was on the bottom Thursday after back-to-back storms, tying a report for snow depth set in 1918, the National Weather Service stated.

More than 320,000 properties and companies had been with out energy in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama after a wave of storms dumped as a lot as 4 inches (10 centimeters) of snow and ice throughout the area. In Tennessee, 12 folks had been rescued from boats after a dock weighed down by snow and ice collapsed on the Cumberland River on Wednesday evening, the Nashville Fire Department stated.

This week’s excessive climate has been blamed for the deaths of greater than 30 folks, a few of whom perished whereas struggling to maintain heat inside their properties. In the Houston space, one household succumbed to carbon monoxide from automobile exhaust of their storage. A grandmother and three youngsters died when flames escaped the hearth they had been utilizing to maintain heat.

In Texas, about 560,000 properties and companies had been nonetheless with out electrical energy Thursday morning, down from about 3 million the day earlier than. But Texas’ grid supervisor, beneath hearth for its response to the winter storm, has warned that the outages may fluctuate throughout hours of peak power demand.

Adding to the distress, the snowy climate has jeopardized ingesting water techniques all through the state.

Texas officers ordered 7 million folks — 1 / 4 of the inhabitants of the nation’s second-largest state — to boil faucet water earlier than ingesting it following days of report low temperatures that broken infrastructure and froze pipes.

In Austin, some hospitals confronted a loss in water strain and in some instances, warmth.

(*1*) St. David’s South Austin Medical Center CEO David Huffstutler stated in an announcement.

Water strain has fallen throughout the state as a result of traces have frozen, and plenty of residents are leaving taps dripping in hopes of stopping pipes from freezing, stated Toby Baker, govt director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Gov. Greg Abbott urged residents to close off water to their properties, if doable, to stop extra busted pipes and protect strain in municipal techniques.

Weather-related outages have been significantly cussed in Oregon, the place some clients have been with out energy for nearly per week. A Portland grocery store with out energy threw perishable meals into dumpsters, resulting in a conflict between scavengers and police.

The harm to the facility system was the worst in 40 years, stated Maria Pope, CEO of Portland General Electric. At the height of the storm, greater than 350,000 clients within the Portland space had been at the hours of darkness. More than 100,000 clients remained with out energy Thursday in Oregon.

“These are the most dangerous conditions we’ve ever seen in the history of PGE,” stated Dale Goodman, director of utility operations, who declined to foretell when all clients would have energy restored.

Utilities from Minnesota to Texas have applied rolling blackouts to ease the burden on strained energy grids. The Southwest Power Pool, a bunch of utilities protecting 14 states, stated the blackouts had been “a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole.”

The climate additionally disrupted water techniques in a number of Southern cities, together with in New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana, the place metropolis hearth vehicles delivered water to a number of hospitals, and bottled water was being introduced in for sufferers and workers, Shreveport tv station KSLA reported.

Power was reduce to a New Orleans facility that pumps ingesting water from the Mississippi River. A spokeswoman for the Sewerage and Water Board stated on-site mills had been used till electrical energy was restored.

In the southwest Louisiana metropolis of Lake Charles, Mayor Nic Hunter stated Wednesday that water reserves remained low and native hospitals had been confronted with the likelihood they may must switch sufferers to different areas.


By PAUL J. WEBER and JILL BLEED Associated Press

Bleed reported from Little Rock, Arkansas. Associated Press journalists Gillian Flaccus in Portland, Ore.; Rebecca Reynolds Yonker in Louisville, Ky., Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Ala.; and Kevin McGill in New Orleans contributed to this report.

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