UPDATED 3:55 PM PT – Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Many Texans found themselves left in the dark and the cold after a winter storm battered the state. As of Tuesday, eight million Texans had issues with their water supply as busted frozen pipes compromised water mains across the state. Officials said the damage done to infrastructure was substantial.
“We estimate there were probably tens of thousands of private breaks at homes and businesses,” Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros said. “And many of these were large with fire lines and other large infrastructure breaking on the private side. So, substantial damage to the public distribution system and private plumbing and a lot of work ahead to clean those up.”
According to reports, roughly 25,000 residents were left without running water. Those who did have water said it was yellow and undrinkable. As a result, a Fort Worth brewery hopped into action to provide clean water to the community.
“Because we have the equipment to be able to make gallons and gallons of whatever liquid we need to,” Cowtown Brewery employee Madison Thompson said. “We can just boil a ton of water and give it to whoever needs it, basically within a few hours.”
As local grocery stores quickly ran out of bottled water, some residents resorted to using melted snow from outside.
“It’s been very difficult,” one resident stated. “I even thought about getting snow to bring it in to melt to flush the potty. That would be our next step.”
Meanwhile, the cost of reheating homes after the grid failure led to exorbitant energy bills for residents. Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) has promised to protect consumers from “unreasonable bills” once the state begins to recover.