What began as a freak snowstorm across the Lone Star State days ago has now become a full-on humanitarian crisis for Texans.
Power company officials believed that they would be able to manage a series of rolling blackouts throughout the major cities in Texas, which could have conserved damage to the grid if done properly.
Instead, rage has ensued as wealthy parts of Dallas remained with power completely, while the poorer suburbs lost power for days on end in near-0 degree weather.
Now the power companies are having trouble getting any power to some places, including to hospitals and water treatment plants.
St. David’s South Austin Medical Center is suffering from a loss of water pressureand heat and is taking several steps to get water to the hospital, officials said Wednesday evening.
In an email, David Huffstutler, CEO of St. David’s HealthCare, said the facility’s boiler depends on water, contributing to falling temperatures inside.
The water issue is also impacting “a number of other hospitals in the area,” he said.
“Because this is a state-wide emergency situation that is also impacting other hospitals within the Austin area, no one hospital currently has the capacity to accept transport of a large number of patients,” the statement said.
The email did not say which other facilities are facing problems. But officials with Ascension Seton Southwest Hospital, in Southwest Austin, said they are also facing intermittent issues with water pressure. Effective immediately, the hospital is rescheduling elective surgeries to preserve bed capacity and personnel, according to a statement from Ascension Seton.
Millions of Texans are currently under a boil-water advisory on account of the storm, which could lead to a potential second wave of trouble as water-borne illnesses could begin to spread.
Many have committed to boiling snow as a potable source of water.