Texas power outages below 500,000 but water crisis persists

Power has been restored to more Texans, with fewer than half a million homes still without electricity

Texas power outages below 500,000 but water crisis persistsBy PAUL J. WEBER and JILL BLEEDAssociated PressThe Associated PressAUSTIN, Texas
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Power was restored to more Texans on Thursday, with fewer than a half-million homes remaining without electricity, and many still were without safe drinking water after winter storms wreaked havoc on the state’s power grid and utilities this week.

Meanwhile, the Appalachians, northern Maryland and southern Pennsylvania braced for heavy snow and ice. Snow fell in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, and the National Weather Service predicted up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) in the New York metropolitan area Thursday and Friday.

Little Rock, Arkansas, got 15 inches (38 centimeters) of snow in back-to-back storms, tying a record for snow depth set in 1918, the weather service said.

More than 320,000 homes and businesses were without power in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as storms dumped as much as 4 inches (10 centimeters) of snow and ice across the region. In Tennessee, 12 people were rescued from boats after a dock weighed down by snow and ice collapsed on the Cumberland River on Wednesday night, the Nashville Fire Department said.

The extreme weather has been blamed for the deaths of more than 30 people, some of whom perished while struggling to keep warm. In the Houston area, one family succumbed to carbon monoxide from car exhaust in their garage. A woman and her three grandchildren died in a fire that authorities said might have been caused by a fireplace they were using.

In Texas, just under 500,000 homes and businesses remained without power, down from about 3 million on Wednesday. The state’s grid manager, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, said the remaining outages are largely weather-related, rather than forced outages that were made early Monday to stabilize the power grid.
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