Winter Storm Wreaks Havoc in Texas


A massive winter storm left hundreds of thousands of Texans without power, water, and a decreasing amount of food. The storm disrupted the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations not only throughout Texas but throughout the entire country. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he approved the White House’s decision to issue a Federal Emergency Declaration for the state. The crisis wasn’t just in Texas, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency urged for Louisiana to be included in the declaration as well.

“…climate change is real and it’s happening now, and we’re not adequately prepared for it,” White House Homeland Security Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall said.

Millions of homes and businesses have been left without running water following pipe bursts caused by the water freezing. Texas citizens have since been advised to boil their water after utilities have suffered from frozen wells and water plants are running on backup power. Water reservoirs in Austin, Texas that hold up to 100 million gallons of water almost ran dry after water began leaking from burst pipes. 

“If we simply try to turn the system back on everywhere and don’t check for leaks and do this in a methodical way, we’ll simply repeat what happened the other night where all the water drains out of our system,” Austin’s Water Director Greg Meszaros said. 

The delivery of 400,000 first doses and 330,000-second COVID-19 doses were delayed following the arrival of the storm. Health officials within the state continued to deliver shots to more than 5,000 recipients after a power outage in a storage facility where they are usually held. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has said that more than 2,000 vaccine sites are in areas with power outages and vaccine shipments to major cities have since been delayed.

“We’re just going to have to make up for it as soon as the weather lifts a bit, the ice melts and we can get the trucks out and the people out,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said. “We’re just going to have to make up for it, namely do double time when this thing clears up.”