Eight million Texans were boiling their water to make it safe to drink Tuesday while platoons of plumbers and engineers struggled to repair the damage done to countless homes and businesses by a cruel winter storm. Many Texans also faced food shortages as grocery stores tried to stay stocked, huge crowds descended on food pantries, and the pandemic continued to threaten a state where, according to the latest NBC News data, nearly 43,000 people have died of Covid-19 and 2.6 million people have been infected. Some 24,000 people were without any running water Tuesday after the public water systems they rely on were rendered "nonoperational" by the unseasonably cold winter blast, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reported.
And in some places where the water was recently restored, what was coming out of the tap left a lot to be desired. "The water itself, it's really coming out all yellow," San Antonio mom Evelyn Esquivel told NBC News. Still, the commission reported that considerable progress had been made since Saturday, when 1,445 public water systems reported service disruptions due to the cold, affecting 14.4 million Texans across 190 counties. Also, while power had been restored in much of Texas after the state's power grid buckled in the face of historically low temperatures, many people have also been hit with massive electricity bills because scarce power means higher prices in the state's market-based system. Millions of Texans are already suffering from a pretty deep recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the death toll in Texas approaches 80 from the historic cold-spell which hit the entire US last week, many phrases have been uttered by bewildered honest people..."It's essentially unlivable." And..."Everything is completely ruined." The storms have left thousands still without power across the country, many of them in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. More than 50,000 Oregon electricity customers were among those without power, more than a week after an ice storm ravaged the electrical grid.
Horror stories are being told by victims of circumstances that are no fault of their own as officials blamed city water mains that are more than 100 years old and not built for freezing weather as many parts of the country's frail and outdated infrastructure could not cope with the conditions. And now many unfortunate and innocent electric customers are being charged $17,000 electricity bills for their trouble! MSN. Many more will not have been able to afford basic house insurance and will have lost everything or even health insurance.The last six months will be remembered as a month of extremes in the US: Historic wildfires burned across the West in September and October, unprecedented tropical activity churned up the Atlantic, and parts of the country saw record heat. What’s more, the first nine months of 2020 brought record-tying billion-dollar weather disasters to the nation, according to scientists.
2020 will be remembered for the Covid-19 and the chaos it brought to a world not prepared for such a pandemic. However, and somewhat hidden because of Covid-19 and other major events Climate Change continued its relentless march in 2020 and causing the US alone, a record-busting 22 billion dollars in weather-related disasters in 2020. 2020 tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record, this was despite a La Nina event which should have caused a cooling effect. 2011-2020 was the hottest decade ever recorded and the six hottest years ever have been in the past six years and this trend is set to continue because of heat-trapping greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. This heat will render previous thriving communities to become unlivable and cause the deaths of an untold number of wild animals and insects. The wildfires in the US is an example of this scenario in 2020, as well as the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic season. These unlivable areas will escalate in the coming years no doubt.
Will 2021 be any better, don't hold your breath the first two months have been colossal. After just 13 days of 2021, we saw the most intense storm ever recorded smash into Alaska’s Aleutian Islands chain with a ferocity seen only in the blockbuster movie, "The Day After Tomorrow." “It was the most intense storm ever recorded in the North Pacific, excluding typhoons,” said Brian Brettschneider, an NOAA research scientist with the National Weather Service. The centre of what forecasters refer to as “bomb cyclone” was measured at a "record-low barometric pressure of 921 millibars," equivalent to the eye of a Category 4 hurricane and the lowest documented over the Aleutians as far back as the 1950s, Brettschneider said. The storm unleashed seas as high as 54 feet (16.5 meters) and winds topping 80 miles per hour (120 kph) - a force of Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale - in the western Aleutians, the weather service said. TBW