Angry Texans queued for hours to get drinking water on Friday, after an unprecedented and deadly polar cold wave left millions of people without electricity and water for days.
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The extreme weather incident caused havoc in the southern and central United States this week, killing at least 40 people, according to US media.
Throughout Texas, one of the hardest-hit states, electricity has been restored in some places, but many residents still lack access to clean water.
Houston resident Percy McGee rated his frustration at “10” as he waited for his turn at the city’s Delmar Stadium, which has become the site of massive bottled water.
“I’m so frustrated. I have diabetes. I host a 94-year-old diabetic. We didn’t have any medication. Nothing …” he said.
Houston resident Erica Granado said she rushed to the site after seeing it in the news.
“I hurried because I thought everyone – yes, everyone wants water,” she says.
The polar hail and snowstorms that struck the United States for several days are expected to gradually subside as the weekend approaches, especially in the south of the country, according to the U.S. Weather Service (NWS).
On Friday, the NWS said the unusually cold week on the Southern Plains will end this weekend as low air brings warmer.
Meanwhile, a cold wave continues to envelop the country on Friday, from Dallas to New York, with snowstorms expected on the East Coast, especially in the New England (Northeast) region, and heavy rains in South Carolina and North Carolina.
Southern states, such as Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, are more than accustomed to heat waves, with sub-zero temperatures. However, mercury is expected to rise again on Saturday, in Houston and Austin, Texas, to return to temperatures near 10 degrees Celsius.
More than 115,000 homes were still without power in Lone Star State on Friday night, as authorities scrambled to restore electricity, according to poweroutage.us, more than 110,000 in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Texas residents also suffer from broken pipes due to freezing.
“I woke up and heard the water running. I turned around and saw it coming from the roof,” says 19-year-old Zain Solbak.
“I immediately told myself that I have to get everything I can and go at once. I went out and turned off the water. And when I got back, the roof was already collapsing.
Because of these water supply problems, about seven million Texans have been advised to boil water before consuming it or using it for cooking.
Joe Biden spoke to Acting Federal Emergency Agency Director Bob Fenton on Friday and is slated to sign a new declaration of a state of emergency in Texas.
Mr. Biden also said he planned to travel to the border state of Mexico, but he does not want his visit to be “another burden.” The exact date of his trip will be determined at the beginning of next week.
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