Tennessee races to repair broken water mains in storm’s wake

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Employees in Tennessee raced Sunday to repair water mains that failed in freezing temperatures, and COVID-19 vaccine shipments resumed because the South carried on with efforts to get well from the winter climate that paralyzed components of the nation.

In Texas, the place hundreds of thousands of individuals endured days of bitter chilly with out energy, officers urged President Joe Biden to go to as quickly as potential.

Ten inches of snow fell in Memphis final week, adopted by a sustained chilly snap. The world noticed temperatures that have been as a lot as 40 levels beneath regular, in line with the Nationwide Climate Service. With the forecast calling for temperatures to climb into the 50s, the town anticipated to see vital melting of the snow and ice that collected on streets, sidewalks and roofs.

Now the issue shouldn’t be sufficient water.

Memphis remained below a boil advisory Sunday after officers mentioned they have been involved that low water strain brought on by issues at getting old pumping stations and a rash of water fundamental ruptures may result in contamination. Memphis, Gentle, Gasoline & Water has not mentioned when it expects to carry the advisory, which has been in place since Thursday.

The utility’s president and CEO, J.T. Younger, in contrast the scenario to a hospital affected person in essential situation.

“We’re within the pink standing, if you’ll,” Younger mentioned Saturday.

About 260,000 properties and companies have been below the advisory. Hospitals and nursing properties switched to bottled water. The Tennessee Nationwide Guard was supplying St. Francis Hospital with water.

Close by Baptist Memorial Hospital has taken on a few of St. Francis’ sufferers, notably those that want dialysis, mentioned Dr. Jeff Wright, a pulmonary and significant care doctor at Baptist. That hospital has a water purification system for dialysis and has water reserves for duties similar to cooking and bathing sufferers, he mentioned.

Metropolis officers deliberate to distribute water bottles at a number of places Sunday. Grocery shops struggled to maintain cabinets stocked with bottled water. Many eating places remained closed.

Flights resumed Saturday at Memphis Worldwide Airport after every part was grounded Friday due to water strain issues. Some issues nonetheless lingered, however airport officers arrange non permanent restrooms.

Not less than 76 deaths have been attributed to the climate throughout the nation.

In the meantime, the White Home mentioned a few third of the COVID-19 vaccine doses delayed by the storm have been delivered over the weekend. The climate created a backlog of about 6 million doses as energy outages closed some vaccination facilities and icy climate stranded vaccine in transport hubs.

White Home press secretary Jen Psaki advised ABC’s “This Week” that about 2 million of the 6 million doses have gone out.

“We count on to quickly catch up this week,” she mentioned.

In Nashville, Tennessee, native COVID-19 activity drive chief Dr. Alex Jahangir mentioned greater than 2,300 seniors and lecturers bought vaccinated Saturday as the town resumed providing photographs after days of treacherous climate.

Because of the wintry mess, native well being officers final week vaccinated greater than 500 folks with doses that in any other case would have expired, together with tons of at homeless shelters and residents of a traditionally Black neighborhood who have been largely seniors with underlying well being circumstances.

In the meantime in Kentucky and West Virginia, employees grappled with repairs to damaged utility poles and downed traces.

About 37,000 clients in West Virginia have been nonetheless with out electrical energy Sunday, down from a peak of 97,000, in line with Appalachian Energy. The utility deliberate to make use of helicopters and drones Sunday to determine issues in distant areas. Some properties have been with out energy since back-to-back ice storms on Feb. 11 and Feb. 15.

About 30,000 clients remained with out energy Sunday in Kentucky, together with greater than 14,000 Kentucky Energy clients within the state’s jap reaches, in line with poweroutage.us, a web site that tracks outages.

President Joe Biden is raring to go to Texas, which was hit especially hard by the weather, Psaki mentioned. Biden hopes to journey to the state this week however “doesn’t wish to take away assets” from the response, she mentioned.

“He’s desirous to go all the way down to Texas and present his help,” she mentioned. “However he’s additionally very aware of the truth that it’s not a light-weight footprint for a president to journey to a catastrophe space.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner advised CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Biden can come anytime.

“We definitely would welcome him,” Turner mentioned.

The Houston space noticed low temperatures final week that have been dozens of levels beneath regular. The low on Tuesday was 13 levels (minus 10 Celsius), 34 levels beneath regular, in line with the climate service. The forecast for the world Sunday referred to as for a excessive of 65 levels (18 Celsius).

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul advised CNN’s “State of the Union” that federal catastrophe reduction can be utilized to assist Texans hit with skyrocketing power payments, restore burst pipes and restore flood injury.

McCaul additionally criticized fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s resolution to take his household on trip amid the disaster.

“When a disaster hits my state, I’m there,” McCaul mentioned. “I’m not going to go on some trip. I do know Mr. Cruz referred to as it a mistake, and he’s owned as much as that. However I believe that was an enormous mistake.”


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