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Texas power crisis is improving, but 325k are still without electricity as water crisis deepens
(Miguel Gutierrez/POOL via The Texas Tribune)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to resolve outstanding power outages on the fourth day of a statewide energy crisis that has since spawned a related water crisis and threatens to create a natural gas crisis.

"We will not stop until normalcy is restored to your lives," Abbot said during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.


Earlier in the day, officials at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which maintains about 90% of the state's grid, said they were no longer mandating power outages and had instructed local utilities to begin restoring power to impacted customers. Around 325,000 customers across the state are still facing outages, which Abbott said were likely due to local, weather-related problems that will require on-site repairs rather than outage mandates from ERCOT.

Austin Energy crews are in the process of restoring power and have made significant progress since Wednesday afternoon, when around 27% of its customers were impacted. As of 4:02 p.m. Thursday, about two-thirds of those have had their power restored.

Although the power crisis is improving, an increasing number of Texans are now facing a water crisis. Major cities including Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Fort Worth, among others, have issued boil water notices. Tens of thousands of Austin residents don't have access to water at all, Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros said Wednesday, and service restoration will be "a multi-day process."

Abbott said he is working on executive orders and waivers to address the twin crises, as well as meeting with organizations that may be able to help provide clean water to impacted residents.

Austin officials said Thursday that they have ordered bottled water from out of state, given the demand from other Texas municipalities, but it will take time for it to be delivered and distributed to those in need. In the meantime, Meszaros recommended the residents without water (or without the power to boil it) reach out to friends and neighbors who may be able to share.

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