Texas Now Facing Water Crisis After Power Is Restored

In Texas, the power is being restored, but the state is facing another crisis. Water is cut off, and it's creating more havoc; CBS2's Dick Brennan reports.

Video Transcript

- In Texas, the power is being restored, but they are facing another crisis.

- Water is cut off, and it is creating more havoc. CBS 2's Dick Brennan here with the details. Dick.

DICK BRENNAN: Christina, Maurice. Right now, Texas-- in Texas, the water is-- the water systems are overwhelmed, and they're spreading misery. The cold burst pipes and water mains, and now nearly half of the state are under a boil water advisory. That's if you can get the water just to boil it.

PERCY MCGEE: I'm a diabetic. I have a 94-year-old senior that's a diabetic. We haven't had no medicine.

DICK BRENNAN: And Percy McGee has no water. He lined up at a distribution center in Houston.

PERCY MCGEE: Up since 5 o'clock, and I've been on the road since 6. And I know it's 11:30, but I'm gonna sit here until-- I mean, I have no choice.

DICK BRENNAN: And to get water, you need gas in your car.

ERICA GRANADO: So I went to look for gas, and it was difficult looking for gas also.

DICK BRENNAN: The power may be coming back on, but without water it's tough to cook.

MARGEE BAYNES: Immediately when the lights came on I hurried up and made a pot of shrimp gumbo to warm it up.

DICK BRENNAN: In Dallas, Joel Burns didn't have power, but he had water flowing in all the wrong places.

JOEL BURNS: It's disheartening.

DICK BRENNAN: This week he says he reached out to 14 different repair companies, but no luck.

JOEL BURNS: It'll cost us thousands.

DICK BRENNAN: Another explosive cost is for energy. In Texas, most residents have one of two types of contracts, a higher fixed rate or a variable. Variable meaning customers take the chance and can pay low rates when demand is down and higher rates when demand rises. Houston resident Meghan O'Neill paid over $2,000 in two days. Her February bill is now more than $3,000.

MEGHAN O'NEILL: It's like, OK, do I feed my family or do I run the heat? Which one do I do?

DICK BRENNAN: The cold weather problems have also hit hard in Tennessee. Memphis International Airport is closed because they don't have water to keep their toilets going. President Biden says he's going to make a major disaster declaration.

JOE BIDEN: FEMA is already there and providing support generators, diesel fuel, water, blankets, and other supplies. And God willing it will bring a lot of relief to a lot of Texans.

DICK BRENNAN: Now, President Biden says he will go to Texas, but probably not until sometime next week. He says he doesn't want to be a distraction and get in the way of people who are doing their jobs. Christina, Maurice.

- Dick, thank you.