By Anna Galaktionov
Houston, Texas got hit the hardest during the wild winter storm that swept across the U.S. on Feb. 15. According to CNN’s most recent update, more than 2.6 million customers are without power in the region.
Such a winter blast hasn’t been felt in that region for decades, and the power plants were just not prepared for it.
As of Feb. 17, the plants are trying to rotate outages so that groups of customers will only experience an outage from 30 minutes up to an hour at a time.
The polar temperatures caused pipelines, diesel engines, wind turbines, and even the reactor of one of Texas’ nuclear plants to freeze.
Some are concerned about people gathering at the homes of those who still have power, and as a result, may spread the coronavirus. Texas, along with many other states, was forced to hold back COVID-19 vaccination appointments because of the severe weather.
To make things worse, one of the major water treatment plants in Waco, Texas lost electricity and the other has technical problems with its systems, misleading many people to hoard water. Mayor Dillon Meek reassured the residents that the teams at the water plants are working hard to fix the issues and recommended all the people to limit their water use.
Residents have had to stand under freezing rain for over an hour to fill their propane tanks for their generators. One Texas university allowed its on-campus students to take water from the swimming pool and melted snow to flush toilets.
Texas is not the only state without electricity. West Virginia, Virginia, Oregon, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Ohio are all facing power outages.
It’s estimated that it will cost billions to fix the damage caused by this Arctic blow across all the states affected.
Unfortunately, the threat of the storm isn’t only snow. Southeast states such as Georgia and the Carolinas, are bracing for heavy flooding Wednesday night all the way into Friday.
As for Florida, according to Sun Sentinel, there is a block of high pressure from the western Atlantic that’s keeping the southern part of the state warm. Chris Perkins writes that currently “South Florida is the nation’s only hot spot” amidst this winter storm.