Texas snow update: Seven million told to boil tap water for safety as blackouts worsen
Texas: Large snownado seen over Cedar Creek Lake
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A major storm has swept across Texas, USA, dumping huge amounts of snow and causing freezing temperatures. Millions of people have been affected by power blackouts for days on end, and they’ve now been urged to boil their tap water before drinking.
Texas is a notoriously warm US state, but has now been struck by one of the most vicious storms in recent history.
Temperatures reached -18 degrees Celsius earlier this week, which was the coldest Texas has been for more than 30 years.
The freezing cold temperatures have led to widespread problems with energy and frozen water pipes.
Water pipes have continued to burst in family homes, despite measures taken to stop it from happening.
Texas health officials have now warned that the exceedingly low water pressure could have an impact on the safety of tap water.
The state’s commission has a minimum water pressure that ensures environmental quality.
But, the freezing temperatures have led residents to run hot water to stop their water pipes from bursting.
This has led to the water pressure dropping significantly, and the health experts have now warned the public to start boiling their water as a safety precaution.
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“As of noon today, there were 332 local water systems reporting impacts in 110 counties across the state, 276 issued boil water notices,” said Toby Baker, head of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Around seven million people in Texas are under water boiling notices, including parts of Houston, Arlington and Fort Worth.
LouAnn Campbell, a public information officer for public works and utilities in the City of Tyler, added: “The water pressure is below levels that are required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, TCEQ, and that water pressure maintains optimal safety for the water.
“We can’t meet that pressure, so that’s why we have to have a boil water notice.”
But, huge numbers of residents won’t be able to boil their water, because of the state-wide power blackouts.
Anybody that doesn’t have access to boiled water should stick to bottled water, urged the mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner.
Turner didn’t expect power to be restored to its full capacity for another few days.
Earlier this week, the freezing temperatures caused wind turbines in Texas to freeze, while gas wells and nuclear equipment also froze.
The worst of the storm had passed over Texas by Wednesday evening, weather experts revealed.
But, more than 100 million people across the USA were still being warned about the excruciatingly cold temperatures.
Over the coming days, more than 70 percent of the country is expected to see snowfall.
People have already died from carbon monoxide poisoning and traffic collisions since the start of the storm.
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