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Many Texas colleges and universities cancel classes for the rest of the week
Many colleges and universities across Texas have canceled classes for the rest of the week due to dangerous road conditions and inadequate internet access caused by widespread power outages.
The University of Texas at Austin is closed until Monday morning. The University of Texas at Arlington is closed at least until the end of Friday. Texas State University, University of Houston and University of North Texas are also closed until Saturday. Texas A&M University said they are monitoring conditions and will decide today if classes are canceled Friday.
Meanwhile, many universities still provide food and have opened heating centers in certain buildings for students who may not have electricity or heating. Texas State University provides warm buses for student use. As many cities issue boiling water notices for their residents, universities have also started providing bottled water to students where available.
This morning, Texas A&M officials advised students to avoid washing or showering, as power cuts in wells and water leaks had resulted in extremely low water levels across campus. As of this morning, the campus water level is 30% normal. They also warned students to report leaks when frozen pipes began to thaw with warming temperatures. – Kate McGee
ERCOT said progress was being made to restore power
Progress is being made to restore electricity to the majority of the millions of Texans whose electricity and heat were forced off by energy providers during this week’s sub-freezing temperatures, the Texas energy grid operator said Thursday morning.
“We are to a point in load recovery where we allow transmission owners to bring back any load they may be associated with this discharge event,” said Dan Woodfin of the Texas Electrical Reliability Council in a statement.
Those without electricity, he said, are likely to be affected by ice storm damage to the power distribution system, systems that need to be manually restarted after being forced to shut down, and large power facilities that voluntarily shut down and haven’t. again began to spread energy.
Austin Energy reported Thursday morning that 13% of its energy customers have no electricity, compared with more than 40% on Monday. Less than 2% of the Houston area is reported to be without electricity, which has caused about 60% of its homes and businesses to shut down during the storm. Jolie McCullough
Abbott provides few details on when the suffering of the Texans will end as the state crisis escalates
As millions of Texans continue to struggle through winter storms that last days without electricity or drinking water, Gov. Greg Abbott give a little detail on Wednesday at times they can expect their situation to improve.
As of Wednesday, 2.7 million households had no electricity. And nearly 12 million Texans facing water disturbance after experiencing several days of freezing temperatures.
Texans run out of food find an empty grocery store shelf. The food kitchen is out of stock. And that freeze has wiped out most of the state’s citrus and vegetable crops. – Texas Tribune staff
Texas leaders failed to heed warnings that left state power grids vulnerable, experts say
Texas officials know winter storms could leave state power grids vulnerable, however they leave the option of being prepared for bad weather to the power company – many prefer not to upgrade expensive. That, plus a deregulated energy market that is largely isolated from the rest of the country’s grid, left the country alone to handle the crisis, experts say.
While the Texas Republican Party quickly pounced on renewable energy and to blame frozen wind turbinesThe natural gas, nuclear and coal power plants that provide most of the country’s energy also struggle to operate during hurricanes.
Green energy has become a pocket of political punch for Texas Republicans like Gov. Greg Abbott during a winter storm. Experts say politicians are never responsible for natural disasters in terms of preparedness. – Texas Tribune staff
Austin hospitals ran out of water, forcing some to move patients
A hospital in the overlooking Austin area widespread water problems after this week’s bad weather. South Austin St. Medical Center David said it lost water pressure from the city on Wednesday, creating a series of problems.
The Seton hospital in the area is also facing water problems. An Ascension Seton spokesman said in a statement that “extreme weather conditions have caused intermittent water problems at several Ascension Seton facilities”.
In the letter obtained by KUT, patients and families at Dell Children’s are asked not to shower and use hand sanitizer to clean their hands. They were also told that the toilets did not flush, and staff members changed the sheets only when needed. – Ashley Lopez, KUT
Disclosure: Ascension Seton has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a non-profit, non-partisan news organization funded in part by donations from members, foundations, and corporate sponsors. Financial backers play no role in the Tribune‘journalism. Find the complete one a list of them here.