Thousands of Texans gradually restored drinking water and electricity on Saturday after an unprecedented polar cold spell shut down this state, which is more used to heat waves than snow, for several days.
“Operations are back to normal and we are no longer asking for power restrictions,” tweeted ERCOT, the Texas public utility.
More than 60,000 homes were still without power on Saturday as rescue teams were unable to repair all of the downed power lines, according to poweroutage.us.
Despite the return of electricity and rising temperatures, residents in several cities were still forced to boil water before consumption.
Sylvester Turner, the mayor of Houston – the fourth largest city in the United States – said the order to drink only previously boiled water could be in effect until Monday.
In several towns, queues continued to form in front of churches or parking lots where drinking water was distributed.
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez in Houston
Young Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who raised $3.2 million for victims of this cold snap, made the journey from New York to Houston.
“We want to show you that New York is with you, that the whole country is with you,” she said after attending a food distribution.
This extreme weather event wreaked havoc in the southern and central United States this week, killing at least 40 people, according to US media.
On Saturday, however, mercury rose again, with the cities of Houston and Austin, Texas returning to temperatures around 15C.
“The federal government has sent generators, blankets, water and other essential supplies,” US President Joe Biden posted on Twitter, calling on his compatriots to help local associations.
The White House tenant, who signed a new declaration of emergency for Texas, said he plans to visit the Mexican border state, but said he didn’t want his visit to be “a burden” to him.