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Even though the Arctic air mass was beginning to lose its grip on an area of the country not used to such extreme cold, the frigid temperatures would continue, the NWS said.
‘Record cold daily maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to transpire in the South Central US through Saturday morning,’ it said early Thursday.
‘The Plains and Mississippi Valley can expect daily temperature anomalies ranging between 20 and 30 degrees below normal.’
President Joe Biden was forced to postpone until Friday a visit to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing site in Kalamazoo, Michigan, while federal government offices in Washington were to be closed Thursday.
More than 30 storm-related deaths have been reported by media in the United States since the cold weather arrived last week, many in traffic accidents.
Hundreds of thousands of residents of the Texas metropolis of Houston were suffering from both power outages and a loss of water pressure.
‘Water pressure is very low,‘ Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted. ‘Please do not run water to keep pipes from bursting.’
Nearly seven million Texans were being advised to boil their water before drinking it or using it for cooking, Toby Baker, who heads the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said Wednesday, adding that nearly 264,000 people were impacted by non-operational water systems.
David Hernandez, 38, spent the night at a Houston church with other people who have fled their homes.
‘My car got stranded and I was trying to sleep in the car but it was just too cold,’ Hernandez said. ‘Liquids in my car were actually turning to ice so it was like sleeping in an icebox.
‘I had to come here,’ he said. ‘There’s no choice.’
Power companies in Texas have implemented rolling blackouts to avoid grids being overloaded as residents crank up the heat.
ERCOT, which manages the state grid, said on Wednesday it had restored power to around 1.6 million households. ‘We are working around the clock to restore power to Texans,’ ERCOT president Bill Magness said in a statement.
According to PowerOutage.US, 674,000 customers in Texas were still without power by Thursday morning, the only one of the US’s 48 continental states to have its own independent power grid.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK