Biden set to declare major disaster in storm-hit Texas

Reeling from a brutal storm, Texas now faces water shortage

The storms also left more than 450,000 people from West Virginia to Louisiana without power, while 100,000 in OR are still enduring a week-long outage following a massive ice and snow storm.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who said a pipe burst in his own home, has warned residents to be prepared to boil their water - if they have any - before consumption or use until at least Sunday or Monday. In Abilene, a man who died at a health care facility when a lack of water pressure made medical treatment impossible.

About 260,000 homes and businesses in Tennessee's largest county, which includes Memphis, were told to boil water because of to water main ruptures and problems at pumping stations. Restaurants that can't do so or don't have bottled water were ordered to close. "Please do not run water to keep pipes from bursting". Crews pumped water to refill city tanks but faced a shortage of chemicals for treatment because icy roads made it hard for distributors to deliver them, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said.

The devastating storm arrived on the country's President's Day weekend bringing damaging ice in the Northwest and snow across the Midwest and Northeast.

US President Joe Biden said on Friday he was ready to declare a major disaster in storm-slammed Texas as soon as the declaration hits his desk, and that he would travel to the state as long as he was not a burden to local authorities.

Adding to the misery: The weather jeopardized drinking water systems.

Lisa Thomas said her driveway on a hill in Jackson was a sheet of ice.

"Charity isn't always a replacement for good governance, but we won't turn away from helping people in need when things hit the fan", Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. The city has stepped in and is distributing clean water across the metroplex.

Ocasio-Cortez, who last month accused the senator of "trying to get me killed" by stoking claims of election fraud ahead of the January 6 Capitol insurrection, took to Twitter again on Thursday to say Texans should demand the senator's resignation.

At present some 504,000 Texas households were without power, down from around 2.7 million on Wednesday, according to poweroutage.us, a website that tracks outages.

Numerous millions of Texans who lost power for days after a deadly winter blast overwhelmed the electric grid now have it back, but the crisis was far from over in parts of the South, with many people lacking safe drinking water.

According to Moody's he largest primary homeowners property insurance carriers in Texas are State Farm, Allstate, USAA, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Travelers, Nationwide, Texas Farm Bureau, Progressive, and Chubb. ERCOT officials have defended their preparations and the decision to begin forced outages Monday as the grid reached a breaking point.

Auto insurers are also expected to report high claims levels due to the storm and winter weather, in Texas and beyond.

Smaller outages still remained Friday.

On top of the general stress of the situation, several tragedies were reported as well, including the death of a family who were trying to keep warm in a auto left running inside a Houston garage.

Record-setting cold weather has cut water and energy supplies to hospitals across a wide swath of Texas. The water system was taxed because millions of people left their faucets dripping to prevent pipes from freezing and possibly bursting.

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.

Austin Water's treatment plants are operating in a stable mode at this time, but we are facing significant challenges to restore water distribution throughout the system.

In Dallas, David Lopez said the plumbing company he works for received more than 600 calls for service over the last week. Much of the island city is still without water or under a boil-water advisory.

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner said residents will probably have to boil tap water in the fourth-largest United States city until Sunday or Monday.

Weathersby went outside collecting buckets of ice to melt it so she could flush her toilet and said "my back's hurting now".

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