- The Texas crisis was not over due to the lack of safe drinking water in many areas.
- The extreme weather was blamed for the deaths of at least 57 people.
- Another snowstorm will hit parts of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Inner Northeast on Sunday and Monday.
The winter storm, which brought more misery to the south on Thursday, continued to throw snow and ice across the mid-Atlantic and northeast on Friday, just as millions of Texans grappled with the aftermath of the deadly winter explosion.
But there is some good news for the beleaguered south-central US, including Texas: Much warmer weather is forecast across the region for the next week as temperatures slowly return to normal.
“A temperature rise will start in earnest this weekend, but shift into high gear next week until temperatures rise to 30, 40 and 50 degrees higher than in the depths of the cold air by February 13-16.” according to AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. “In some places, temperatures can be 60 to 70 degrees higher between the middle and the end of the coming week.”
Although Texas blackouts were around 180,000 on Friday – far fewer than at the beginning of the week (4 million) – the crisis was not over the lack of safe drinking water in many areas.
The storms and cold weather left over 130,000 people without power in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia early Friday. And more than 90,000 in Mississippi have been without power, according to Mississippi poweroutage.us. In Oregon, 68,000 still had a week-long outage after a massive ice and snow storm.
The extreme weather was blamed for the deaths of at least 59 people, with more and more people killing and trying to keep warm.
In the northeastern United States, winter weather warnings extended from eastern Kentucky to Massachusetts through Friday morning, and a handful of winter storm warnings were distributed across North Carolina to Maryland, AccuWeather said. Over 40 million people live where the notices or warnings were in effect.
The storm should bring 1 to 3 inches of additional snowfall northeast on Friday, the National Weather Service said, while places ahead of the Lower Great Lakes wind could see between 4 and 8 inches of snow.
Another snowstorm will hit parts of the Midwest, Great Lakes and Inner Northeast on Sunday and Monday, AccuWeather said.
“Compared to last week’s winter rainfall, it is expected that the amount of snow will be less and the risk of ice is low,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Ryan Adamson. “Also, areas in the south that have dealt with the wrath of winter in recent days will be spared this time.”
The misery continues in the south
Utilities from Minnesota to Texas used rolling blackouts to relieve congested power grids. The remaining outages in Texas were largely weather related, according to the state’s network manager, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott warned the state’s residents “are out of the woods” as temperatures across the country are still well below freezing and food supply chains are disrupted.
Effects of power outages:It is a matter of life and death for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities
The weather contributed to the misery of the state and put the drinking water systems at risk. Authorities ordered 7 million people – a quarter of the population of the second largest state in the country – to boil tap water before drinking after record temperatures damaged infrastructure and plumbing.
Water pressure dropped after the pipes froze and because many people dripped faucets to keep the pipes from icing, said Toby Baker, executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Abbott urged residents to shut off the water to prevent more broken pipes and keep the communal system under pressure.
President Joe Biden said he called Abbott Thursday night and offered additional federal government assistance to state and local authorities. On Friday said Biden He plans to visit Texas next week but will only go when he realizes that he will not be a “burden”.
Firefighters fighting a massive fire at an apartment complex in the San Antonio area on Thursday evening were handicapped by frozen fire hydrants.
According to the San Antonio Express News, the building has been evacuated and there have been no reports of injuries, firefighters said. In the evening, the fire engulfed the building as firefighters constantly had to fetch water from the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said residents would likely have to boil tap water in the fourth largest U.S. city by Sunday or Monday.
Federal emergency officials sent generators to aid water treatment plants, hospitals and nursing homes in Texas, along with thousands of blankets and ready-to-eat meals.
As of Thursday afternoon, more than 1,000 public water systems in Texas and 177 of the state’s 254 counties had reported weather-related disruptions affecting more than 14 million people, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Approximately 260,000 households and businesses in Tennessee’s largest county, which includes Memphis, were ordered to boil water after cold temperatures caused water pipe breaks and problems at pumping stations. Memphis International Airport had to cancel all inbound and outbound passenger flights on Friday due to water pressure issues.
The flight cancellation situation has improved nationwide, dropping from 2,900 on Thursday afternoon to just over 1,100 as of 7:45 a.m. EST on Friday. FlightAware also reported over 200 delays.
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport continues to top the global list of airports with the largest number of canceled flights, as it did for most of the week. The dominant American airline still has the most canceled flights.
And in Jackson, Mississippi, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said most of the city, with a population of around 150,000, was without water on Thursday evening. The crews pumped water to refill the city’s tanks, but ran out of chemicals to treat the water, she said.
“We are facing an extreme challenge to get more water through our distribution system,” said Lumumba.
Before the wintry weather hit Texas, the city of Del Rio, on the US-Mexico border, got nearly 10 inches of snow Thursday, beating the city’s daily record for snowfall.
Contributors: The Associated Press; Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY