The number of people in Texas without running, drinkable water dwarfed the number of homes and businesses without power Friday morning as the state continued to struggle to recover from the storm that paralyzed it with a blanket of snow, ice and frigid temperatures.
Some 12 million people were under boil water notices, the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality said. And while approximately 187,00 utility customers were still suffering from outages, according to poweroutage.us, that was down from a peak of some 4 million.
In many homes, taps were dry. Finding bottled water was nearly impossible. Some people resorted to boiling snow. Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, opened 11 sites Thursday to help give away water.
At least 34 deaths were attributed to the storm across the South, 20 of them in Texas.
The winter weather also created a political storm. Texas Senator Ted Cruz was severely criticized for flying to Cancun with his family this week while his constituents suffered in record-low temperatures.