“For many people in our city with means, with insurance, this week has been a significant inconvenience, but they have the means and ability to quickly transition and move forward,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a news conference late last week. “For many people in our city who are already on the margins … and were fighting every day just to keep a roof over their head and food in their refrigerator, this past week has been a major, major event and has really disrupted their lives.”
“For many of these individuals, many of these families, they will be in crisis mode for weeks and months to come,” Turner added.
Here’s how the state has so far been recovering from last week’s severe weather conditions.
Thousands without power, millions with water disruptions
Meanwhile some 8.8 million people — nearly a third of the state’s total population — were still experiencing water disruptions Sunday evening, according to Gary Rasp, media specialist for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The disruptions have impacted more than 1,200 public water systems in 199 counties in the state, Rasp said, adding that about 147 public water systems serving “just under” 120,000 people were still nonoperational.
About 258 boil water notices had been rescinded as of Sunday evening, Rasp said.
Houston officials also said Sunday they were lifting the boil water notice that had been in place since Wednesday, after confirming tap water met regulatory standards and was safe to drink.
“Customers should flush their water system by running cold-water faucets for at least one minute, cleaning automatic ice makers by making and discarding several batches of ice, and running water softeners through a regeneration cycle,” Houston officials said in a news release.
Document the damage, leaders say
For residents dealing with more lasting damage, Abbott said the state was bringing in more plumbers to meet the high demand of customers with broken pipes and urged residents to get in touch with their insurance agents to help address what may have been destroyed.
“If you do not have insurance, you may qualify for a FEMA reimbursement,” he said. “We have had FEMA assistance granted by the federal government and part of that is individual assistance that will assist individuals whose homes or apartments have been harmed because of the winter storm. If so, you’ll need to document any type of…