Storms Create Clean Water Crisis in Texas

Headline Roundup February 19th, 2021

The rare winter storms that have battered Texas and other southern states this week have led to a clean water crisis. Roughly 13 million Texas residents — nearly half the state's population — were told to boil their water as a precaution this week, amid concerns about contaminants and after hundreds of millions of gallons of clean water were lost in the state due to frozen and burst pipes. Many of the millions of Texans who lost power earlier this week have since regained it, but roughly 190,000 remained in the dark as of early Friday.

Outlets on all sides reported on the storms, the lack of clean water, and the affected communities. Some right-rated sources focused on Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) calls for winterizing Texas' power supplies and restoring clean water access. Many left-rated sources also highlighted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R), who took criticism for vacationing to Mexico amid the crisis.

Storms Create Clean Water Crisis in Texas

From the Left

Texans of color earning low incomes bore some of the heaviest weight of this week’s power outages as the inequities drawn into the state’s urban centers were exacerbated in crisis. Some residents escaped to nearby hotels, but those who could never afford that option watched the food in their refrigerators — and the precious dollars spent on it — spoil in front of them.

“When you didn’t invest in the whole community equally, then you're going to see the disparity when we get into situations like this,” said Jill Ramirez,...

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From the Center

Many of the 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.

Nearly 185,000 homes and businesses remained without power in Texas according to early Friday, down from about 3 million two days earlier, though utility officials said limited rolling blackouts were still possible.

The storms also left more than 335,000 from Virginia to Louisiana without power and...

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From the Right

Governor Greg Abbott put new priorities relating to energy reform on the table for the Texas legislature today as the freeze problem evolves from a lack of power to a lack of water.

“We have already begun the process to make sure that events like this never again happen in Texas, and that starts with reforming the agency in charge of electrical reliability in Texas, which is the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT),” Abbott said.

“ERCOT’s annual winter assessment… assured the public that there would be enough power to...

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