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Texas Power Grid Has Welcome News

It's back to normal, but water shortages continue to plague the state
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 19, 2021 12:23 PM CST
Texas Grid Is Back to Normal
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon stands on his kitchen counter to warm his feet over his gas stove in Austin, Texas.   (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Texas’ grid operators said Friday that the electrical system has returned to normal for the first time since a winter storm knocked out power to more than 4 million customers, per the AP. Smaller outages still remained Friday. But Bill Magness, president of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, says the grid again has enough capacity to provide power throughout the entire grid. As electricity and heat returned to Texas homes, water problems remained as cities continued boil-water notices and repaired broken pipes and water mains. More than 180,000 homes and businesses remained without power in Texas according to, down from about 3 million two days earlier. Winter storms also left more than 330,000 from Virginia to Louisiana without power, and about 71,000 in Oregon were still enduring a weeklong outage following a massive ice and snow storm.

The snow and ice moved into the Appalachians, northern Maryland, and southern Pennsylvania, and later the Northeast. The extreme weather was blamed for the deaths of at least 58 people, including a Tennessee farmer trying to save two calves that apparently wandered into a frozen pond and a 17-year-old Oklahoma girl who fell into a frozen pond. A growing number of people have perished trying to keep warm. And in and around the western Texas city of Abilene, authorities said six people died of the cold—including a 60-year-old man found dead in his bed in his frigid home. Rotating outages for Texas could return if electricity demand rises as people get power and heating back, said Dan Woodfin, the council's senior director of system operations. (Ted Cruz remained the butt of jokes after his ill-timed trip to Mexico.)

(More Texas stories.)

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