Texas hospitals suffer from water issues amid widespread power outages

  • Texas hospitals suffer from water issues amid widespread power outages

Texas hospitals suffer from water issues amid widespread power outages

Compounding the problem was the fact that much of Texas was still experiencing cold weather and snowstorms Thursday, part of a havoc-inducing bout of winter weather that also prompted winter storm warnings in parts of New York, New Jersey and CT through Friday night.

The extreme weather was blamed for the deaths of over three dozen people, some while trying to keep warm. In the Houston area, The Associated Press reported, one family died from carbon monoxide poisoning from vehicle exhaust in their garage, while a grandmother and three children were killed by flames that escaped the fireplace they were using to keep warm. Although the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, the Houston Chronicle reports that they had been using a fireplace to keep warm after their electricity went out.

The Cold wave That affected the southern United States More than 600,000 homes and businesses were left without Electricity in Texas, The nation's premier oil and gas producer, which also affected northern Mexico.

Texas is now under the microscope, with experts pointing to the state's deregulated electricity system (and its lack of readiness for cold weather) as the culprits.

The crisis that has gripped the country's second-largest state by area was set to continue, however, with millions of people still without access to water, many struggling to find food, and freezing temperatures expected through the weekend.

St. David's HealthCare said in a statement to CBS News on Thursday that its South Austin Medical Center lost water pressure and was restricting water usage.

The city of Austin is now under a boil water notice due to a power outage at the The Ullrich Water Treatment Plant, the city's largest water treatment facility, and drops in water pressures "below minimum standards".

"Because this is a state-wide emergency situation that is also impacting other hospitals within the Austin area, no one hospital now has the capacity to accept transport of a large number of patients", St David's South Austin Medical Center CEO David Huffstutler said in a statement.

Water pressure has fallen across the state because lines have frozen, and many residents are leaving faucets dripping in hopes of preventing pipes from freezing, said Toby Baker, executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Meanwhile, in OR, where winter weather advisories still cover much of the state, more than 100,000 customers were still without electricity a week after outages began. A Portland supermarket without power threw perishable food into dumpsters, leading to a clash between scavengers and police.

A woman collects ice cream that had been thrown out because of power outages at a Kroger store in Arlington, Tex. The White House said on Thursday that FEMA was mobilizing to help assist the response to winter weather that has left hundreds of thousands without power in Texas. More than 100 million people live in areas covered by some type of winter weather warning, watch or advisory, the weather service said.

"These are the most risky conditions we've ever seen in the history of PGE", said Dale Goodman, director of utility operations, who declined to predict when all customers would have power restored.

In this photo provided by Amber Moore, damage to a house from a downed tree is seen in Lake Oswego, Ore.

This week's storms - with more still heading east - fit a pattern of worsening extremes under climate change and demonstrate anew that local, state and federal officials have failed to do almost enough to prepare for greater and more unsafe weather.

Power companies in Texas have implemented rolling blackouts to avoid grids being overloaded as residents crank up the heat.

City fire trucks delivered water and officials were getting bottled water for patients and staff.

Power was cut to a New Orleans facility that pumps drinking water from the Mississippi River. "Current power generation is restoring an additional 200,000 homes every hour".

The unusually cold Arctic storm which on Monday hit Texas and other south-western states created a surge in demand for power, causing the state's independent electricity grid to fail, Insider's Charles Davis reported.