The Disaster Services Corporation, St Vincent de Paul USA (DSC, SVdP-USA) is providing support to Councils and Conferences in the areas impacted by Winter Storms Uri and Viola. DSC is working closely with the State of Texas and Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). Additionally, we are working in coordination with the National SVdP Office to provide Rapid Response Grants to cover the costs of rent, food, pipe repairs, hotel stays, etc. Lastly, DSC, SVdP-USA is also monitoring and supporting Vincentians in Oklahoma and Louisiana. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families without water and power.
To help support the work of DSC in this winter storm season, visit Disaster Services Corp., St Vincent de Paul-USA and choose “Where It Is Needed Most.”
Here’s What You Need to Know
- As power begins to return, many Texans are now without drinking water.
- Most power is back, but 500,000 Texas homes and businesses are still in the dark.
- The latest storm is knocking out power in Mississippi, Kentucky, and elsewhere.
- Several inches of snow are expected in the New York area, as vaccine shipments are delayed.
- 31 people have died across the country due to the winter storms.
Recap From the News
The winter storms and colder weather may persist in the Great Plains and Mississippi Valley through midweek, and a new winter storm is expected to sweep across the South and East over the next two days. More than 100 million Americans are under some type of winter weather warning.
As Texas struggles to restore power to millions of residents affected by the brutal winter weather, officials are now scrambling to provide clean water as well. Cities and counties across the state, including Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, have issued boil water notices stemming from concerns about contamination and low water pressure as frigid temperatures freeze pipes, leaving some households with little to no running water.
As of Wednesday, nearly seven million Texans were under a boil water advisory, and about 263,000 people were affected by nonfunctioning water providers, Toby Baker, executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said at a news conference. During a news conference on Wednesday, W. Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, said facilities were reporting broken water mains, lack of running water, oxygen shortages and other problems.
Texas wasn’t the only state contending with power issues. Other states where outages numbered in the tens of thousands included Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio and Oregon, according to poweroutage.us, a utility tracking site.
While some facilities can provide heat during the blackouts, others are relying completely on generators and cannot provide any heat. With another storm on its way to Texas, temperatures are expected to remain below freezing until Saturday.
Winter’s brutal assault continued Wednesday night as another snowstorm roared its way across the nation through the end of the week, hitting areas where millions were already without electricity in record-breaking cold.
More than 100 million Americans are in the path of the storm as it tracks from the southern Plains to the East Coast over the next few days, the National Weather Service said. But the nation’s heartland will get some relief over the weekend, the weather service reported, as the frigid air will begin to moderate over the next couple days.
But first, much of Texas and the Southeast will have to endure heavy snowfall and “ice accumulations of a light glaze to a few hundredths of an inch” through Thursday. Heavy snow is forecast to move work its way as far north as southern New England on Thursday.
The next winter storm will bring more snow and ice and “just a real mess” to many areas of the country, including the South, Midwest and Northeast, AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. As the storm advances to the northeast through Friday, snow is forecast to fall along a 2,000-mile-long swath from northwestern and north-central Texas to northern Maine, AccuWeather said. Freezing rain and sleet will occur to the south and east of the snow zone, extending from central Texas to southeastern New York state.
Ice accumulations of a quarter to as much as three-quarters of an inch are forecast in some areas. “In the areas that contend with these devastating ice accumulations, residents can expect dangerous travel conditions, numerous power outages and extensive tree damage,” the weather service said.
FEMA Update Region VI – TX
- 15 non-American Red Cross shelters open with 1,068 occupants
- 34 congregate shelters open with 1,140 occupants
- 10 non-congregate; 134 warming shelters open
- Total of 200 warming shelters throughout the state: www.tedem.texas.gov/warm/
- Boil Water Notices in effect for 40 counties; boil water notices are not for the entire county, only certain public water systems within these counties
- 729k liters of water, 10.9k wool blankets, 50k cotton blankets, 225k meals staged at DC Fort Worth (TX Consolidated Staging Area)
- 1 million (-2 million) customers (9%) without power
- Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) energy conservation plan continues with rotating outages due to high demand exceeding available generation capacity generation resources are strained due to cold weather tripping units, natural gas supply curtailments, and wind power generation outage
- I-35W in Fort Worth remains closed causing detours and traffic delays
- TX EOC at Partial Activation (COVID), working 24/7 operations this week for winter weather; Governor declared a state of emergency and requested an Emergency Declaration; approved Feb 14
Who to Follow
What to Download
Stay informed: Download the FEMA App to receive real-time weather alerts, safety tips, and sheltering information.
How to Help
Donate to support Disaster Services Corp., St Vincent de Paul-USA and choose “Where It Is Needed Most.”