NORTHEAST HARRIS COUNTY – When the vortex that generally encircles the Arctic wobbled down to touch the US/Canadian border, the state was smacked with paralyzing cold, and far more frost than the electrical infrastructure was able to handle.
Snow invaded like a foreign army on Sunday, Feb. 15. On Monday, northeast Harris County began losing power in a freezing rain that slicked up roadways. At about 6:00 p.m., the power went out throughout the area. Some locations, like Highlands, lost water soon thereafter, and by Wednesday, loss of water and burst water pipes were commonplace, with all the fixings of destroyed sheetrock and indoor furniture. This Tuesday, Highlands remained on a boil water notice.
Most municipal utility districts were not placed on a boil water vigil because their generators kept the power going. About 15 million Texans had to endure the boil drinking water warning. Some local communities still had no water on Friday, at least in isolated pockets due to pipe damage.
On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott said the situation was “unacceptable,” calling for ERCOT executives to resign. Some legislators announced plans to investigate what led to the loss of power.