Millions were still without electricity after a storm, with more snow expected to sweep across the South and East in the coming days.
People are seeking warmth in hotels, only to find they’re full or have lost power, too.
“It’s pretty bad that, you know, as Texans, we just can’t prepare for cold — every other part of the country, this would have not been even an issue.” “We lost power yesterday morning in the house. It started getting real cold like around 2 o’clock, and then you got all the blankets out. We tried to all sleep together to keep us warm, come to the cars to keep our phones charged. And then today, when we got up, there was no water.” “Yesterday morning about 7:55, power went out. Rode it out for most of the day. Been coming out because we have two kids, keeping them warm, and slept here last night, hoping the power would come on this morning. But we have no real update of when it’s going to come on, and our phones barely work.”
Texas remained in the frigid grip of winter storms on Wednesday as a fresh arctic blast deepened an electricity supply crisis that has forced millions to endure days without power and heat.
Pipes froze and burst across the state, and warming centers that had opened lost power. Icicles hung from kitchen faucets in Houston, ambulances in San Antonio were unable to meet the surging demand, and the county government in coastal Galveston called for refrigerated trucks to hold the bodies they expect to find in freezing, powerless houses.
On Wednesday, the state faced a new onslaught of sleet and freezing rain that the National Weather Service office in Austin/San Antonio said could be “the worst of all the winter events over the past week.” Snow fell around Dallas-Fort Worth, and some spots in Texas were expected to pick up more than a quarter-inch of ice as the new storm moved through, making road travel extremely hazardous.
I have earlier today issued an order, effective today through February the 21st, requiring those producers that have been shipping to locations outside of Texas to instead sell that natural gas to Texas power generators. That will also increase the power that’s going to be produced and sent to homes here in Texas. That will increase the ability of gas-powered generators in Texas to increase power sent to the Texas power grid. The initial and the main storm that has caused the severe damage in Texas is now beginning to move out of the state of Texas. Snow and sleet in Northeast Texas will continue to exist but also gradually move out over the next six hours. After that, another round of precipitation will be coming across the state over the next 24 hours Cold temperatures will remain across much of the state for the next few days. Most of the state will be below freezing tomorrow morning. We should, across the state, start getting above freezing on Saturday.
On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order directing natural gas providers to halt all shipments of gas outside the state, ordering them to instead direct those sales to Texas power generators.
During a news conference, Mr. Abbott said that there remained a lack of power within the electrical grid, and that there were problems getting natural gas and renewable energy generators back online. He did not provide a clear timeline on when the power grid would be fully restored.
“Every source of power Texas has has been compromised,” Mr. Abbott said, from coal and renewable energy to nuclear power.
W. Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, said several state agencies have been working together to meet the demands of nursing homes, hospitals and dialysis centers, which have reported a variety of problems including water main breaks and oxygen shortages.
As another storm moves in, the state increased the number of warming centers to more than 300. Game wardens and others have been delivering blankets, cots and water to vulnerable citizens, Mr. Kidd said.
Across the country, at least 31 people have died since the punishing winter weather began last week. Some died in crashes on icy roads, others succumbed to the cold and others were killed when desperate attempts at warmth turned deadly.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s power grid, said it had restored electricity to about 1.6 million homes on Wednesday, which meant nearly two million customers were still without power.
“I understand we live in a less-cared-for neighborhood, but we’re human like everyone else,” said Justin Chavez, who had been living with his wife and eight children in a home without power in San Antonio for days. “The city should have been on top of this. What am I paying my taxes for?”
Austin Energy, which serves the state’s capital, said its customers should be prepared to not have power through Wednesday and possibly longer. Austin’s mayor, Steve Adler, had urged residents to use electricity as sparingly as possible in hopes of staving off further shutdowns, using flashlights and candles if able.
“If you have power, please try to live almost like you don’t,” Mr. Adler said. “If you have heat, run it low. Run it lower.”
The pleas for conservation were received with grim irony by many on social media, who pointed to the stark line separating a downtown Austin still brightly lit and a powerless East Austin, a traditionally Black and Hispanic part of the city.
The strain revealed the vulnerabilities of a distressed system and set off a political fight as lawmakers called for hearings and an inquiry into the Electric Reliability Council.
Here’s some good news for storm-battered communities across the United States: The brutal weather that has killed at least 31 people, disrupted vaccine distribution and left millions without power has moved on.
Now for more bad news: Frigid air may persist in the Great Plains and Mississippi Valley through midweek, and a new winter storm is expected to sweep across the South and East over the next two days. More than 100 million Americans are under some type of winter weather warning, the National Weather Service said.
Duke Energy warned its customers in the Carolinas of the potential hardships to come: possibly one million power outages, some that could last several days. Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, gave a similar warning, telling residents to keep their phones charged and to prepare themselves for the coming snow and ice.
The South is already reeling from a rare cold snap. The temperature in Houston on Monday night — 13 degrees — was lower than that in Houston, Alaska. And Oklahoma’s capital on Tuesday experienced its coldest morning since 1899.
That will continue for at least another few days. High temperatures this week will likely be 25 to 40 degrees below average across a swath of the Central and Southern United States, the Weather Service said.
There will also be more precipitation. As of Tuesday morning, nearly three-quarters of the continental United States was blanketed in snow, the greatest extent on record since the National Water Center created a database for that in 2003. And the forecast calls for even more snow this week, from the Southern Plains to the Mississippi Valley.
In Central Texas, where many roads are still impassable because of icy conditions, more sleet and snow is expected late evening before the storm system moves eastward.
Meteorologists also expect “significant freezing rain” and ice accumulations of half an inch from the Gulf Coast into Tennessee. A long list of winter weather warnings, advisories and watches were in effect on Wednesday afternoon.
These graphics depict the next 3 day snowfall and ice accumulation potential. Several inches of snow has already fallen in the TX panhandle, and 1-2 inches more is possible. Swaths of a half inch of ice will be possible in the red areas from TX to MS & the Mid-Atl. pic.twitter.com/uvxvFI1yFR
“It’s going to be a mess,” said Laura Pagano, a meteorologist with the weather prediction center of the National Weather Service.
It won’t be bitterly cold everywhere, but even places where the snow lets up — in the Deep South and beyond — may face scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms. For Texans, the cold weather should linger into the weekend, when the region is expected to move into above-freezing temperatures.
Maps show where frigid temperatures after the storm led to power outages, many in places unaccustomed to such severe cold.
As Texas struggles to restore power to millions of residents affected by the brutal winter weather, officials are now scrambling to provide clean water as well.
Cities and counties across the state, including Houston, San Antonio and Austin, have issued boil water notices stemming from concerns about contamination and low water pressure as frigid temperatures freeze pipes, leaving some households with little to no running water.
As of Wednesday, nearly seven million Texans were under a boil water advisory, and about 263,000 people were affected by nonfunctioning water providers, Toby Baker, executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said at a news conference.
On Wednesday morning, Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston announced his city would be under a boil water notice. Houston Public Works has been urging residents within city limits not to let their faucets drip to prevent freezing pipes because the city’s water system depends on ground water storage tanks and pumps rather than water towers used by other municipalities in Harris County. Because of the ground water system, dripping faucets put more pressure on the pumps, leading to lower water pressure over all.
Officials said they hoped to have pressure back to being fully operational by the end of Thursday.
In anticipation of a growing number of broken pipes and other water problems, Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Wednesday that the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners could give out provisional licenses to out-of-state plumbers to help with repairs. Mr. Abbott said he would also issue a waiver that allowed plumbers with expired licenses to help as the state recovered.
The boil water notices compounded the frustrations of some residents who expressed on social media that they do not have the power or electricity to boil water or are without water completely.
“Some of the equipment has been damaged in this severe weather,” Alanna Reed, a spokeswoman for Houston Public Works, said about the city’s storage tanks and pumps.
Other cities are asking residents to depend on boiled or bottled water for consumption. On Wednesday afternoon, a citywide boil water notice was put in place for San Antonio, and Austin did the same hours later because of lost power at a treatment plant.
In Spring, a suburb of Houston in Harris County, Allison Bergeron said that her home had not had water or electricity since early Monday morning and that a pipe burst above her kitchen dining table when her power temporarily came on Tuesday afternoon.
The burst pipe left a gaping hole of exposed insulation and water trickling from the ceiling onto furniture.
“The house being a mess is driving me nuts,” she said in a text message. “I don’t think we will have water until sometime next week so we have been collecting water in buckets outside for the toilets.”
In Houston, Ms. Reed said the city was working to partner with some distributors to provide bottled water to the public. Many grocery stores throughout the state have moved to limited hours because of power outages.
Our team and FEMA continue to monitor the situation in Texas, as well as other states in the storm’s path that might be impacted. We remain in close contact with states across the affected area to ensure any federal support requirements are met. FEMA has supplied generators to Texas and is preparing to move diesel into the state to ensure the continued availability of backup power, which of course is a major issue on the ground to key critical infrastructure, including communications, hospitals and water. FEMA’s also supplying Texas with water and blankets at their request. We are preparing to quickly process requests from other states for emergency assistance. That’s how the process typically works. And we urge people in the affected states to, of course, listen to their emergency management, management officials.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has sent generators and other relief supplies to Texas as the state continued to grapple with power outages and dangerous travel conditions stemming from the winter storm, officials said.
The agency provided 60 generators to help the state power “critical infrastructure” in addition to blankets, bottled water and meals, a FEMA spokeswoman said.
FEMA will also provide the state with diesel fuel “to ensure the continued availability of backup power,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said at a briefing on Wednesday. The agency provided blankets and water at Texas’ request, she said.
“Our team and FEMA continue to monitor the situation in Texas, as well as other states in the storm’s path that might be impacted,” Ms. Psaki said. “We remain in close contact with states across the affected area to ensure any federal support requirements are met.”
Both the state and the federal government issued disaster declarations for all 254 counties in Texas because of the winter storm. President Biden approved the federal declaration on Sunday, authorizing FEMA to coordinate aid to the state, the agency said.
Under the emergency declaration, FEMA was given authority to “identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency,” which it said would be provided at 75 percent federal funding.
The agency provided generators to hospitals, water sites and other facilities, the agency said on Wednesday. A spokesman declined to comment on specifics.
When asked at a White House press briefing whether Texas should have been more prepared for the disaster, Ms. Psaki said the focus should be on relief.
She said there would be time to look back and evaluate if better preparation could and should have been done. “But at this point in time we’re just focused on getting relief to the people in the state and the surrounding states,” she said.
Ms. Psaki said the White House was “preparing to quickly process requests from other states for emergency assistance.”
At a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said he had participated in a conference call with Mr. Biden and governors of other states affected by the weather.
“During that conversation, a point was raised about the spikes in natural gas prices that occur because of the unusual situation between demand and supply,” Mr. Abbott said. “A request was made by one of the governors for assistance in dealing with those price anomalies and the president said that he would work with the governors on trying to address that issue.”
On Wednesday, Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma said he had requested a federal disaster declaration for all 77 Oklahoma counties after declaring a state of emergency in the state.
Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas and Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana have issued states of emergency but have not requested federal disaster declarations.
When the power finally came on at Nanaws Place after three days of spotty electricity, Donna Buttrill, the owner of the assisted living facility in Pottsboro, Texas, breathed a tepid sigh of relief. She worries the power could be shut off again, and her residents are still without running water.
“My staff is actually melting snow in pots right now to flush toilets,” she said on Wednesday, adding that there is no way to clean the dirty laundry of the 15 residents who live there.
Nanaws Place is one of many long-term care facilities across Texas that are struggling to get by amid the losses of power and water that continue to plague the state. During a news conference on Wednesday, W. Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, said facilities were reporting broken water mains, lack of running water, oxygen shortages and other problems.
In Williamson County, local officials are working with more than 60 long-term care facilities to make sure they have blankets, diesel to run generators, and enough water for drinking and cleaning.
At any given time, about 75 percent of the county’s facilities are struggling with the loss of water or power, said Amy Jarosek, the community health paramedic program lead of Williamson County E.M.S.
While some facilities can provide heat during the blackouts, others are relying completely on generators and cannot provide any heat. With another storm on its way to Texas, temperatures are expected to remain below freezing until Saturday.
Ms. Jarosek said her team had developed a list of facilities that could take additional residents if evacuations became necessary. As the bad weather lingers, she said she worried about food shortages in the coming days.
“We’re going to try to keep these folks as comfortable as we can,” Ms. Jarosek said. “They’ve been through so much with Covid as it is, and now we’re here with this.”
A winter storm delivered snow and ice across the United States this week, bringing frigid temperatures and rolling blackouts to parts of the country that are unaccustomed to severe winter weather.
President Biden’s planned trip to a Pfizer vaccine manufacturing facility in Michigan on Thursday has been postponed until Friday because of weather, a White House official said.
A winter storm is forecast for the Washington area, with several inches of snow and sleet expected, according to the National Weather Service.
The president is planning to visit Pfizer’s facility in Portage, Mich., near Kalamazoo, that produces its Covid-19 vaccine.
The trip is set to be Mr. Biden’s second to the Upper Midwest this week, after he traveled to Wisconsin on Tuesday for a CNN town hall event in Milwaukee.
“We’ve got fewer than 30,000 first doses on hand right now. That means we’re going to run out today, tomorrow. We’re going to run out of what we have now. Once again, we’re in this ridiculous situation. We have massive ability to give people vaccination. We could be doing hundreds of thousands of more each week. And we’re running out of vaccine because we’re not getting what we need.” “And on top of that, we’ve got the weather problem. All over the nation, there’s huge storms that are now causing delays in shipments. So I’ve been updated this morning on the fact that we unfortunately do expect vaccine to be delayed, shipments of vaccine that we were expecting by yesterday, today, to be delayed. That means we’re going to have to hold back appointments that New Yorkers need because the vaccine isn’t arriving. Based on the information I’ve got now, as many as 30, 35,000 appointments or more might not be scheduled because we don’t have vaccine. So, appointments we would have been putting up, available to people right now, we have to hold them back because the vaccine hasn’t arrived.”
The dangerous winter weather has delayed shipments of vaccine doses to New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday, preventing officials from scheduling between 30,000 and 35,000 new vaccination appointments, delaying the opening of two new vaccination sites, and complicating a rollout already constrained by a limited supply of doses.
The problems in New York City, which could extend to suburbs and neighboring states, came as vaccination efforts have been disrupted nationwide. Clinics have closed and shipments have been stalled as snow and ice grounded flights and made highways dangerously slick. Many of the closures and cancellations have been in the South, where the storm hit hardest, with Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky canceling or rescheduling appointments.
Jeffrey D. Zients, President Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator, said on Wednesday that the Biden administration was pushing governors to extend the hours of vaccination sites once they reopen.
“People are working as hard as they can, given the importance of getting the vaccines to the states and to providers, but there’s an impact on deliveries,” he said.
Mr. de Blasio said he did not know when the shipments would arrive next or which specific weather conditions were snarling the shipments.
New vaccination sites in Queens and on Staten Island would not open on Thursday as scheduled because of the delays, the mayor said in a statement on Wednesday night, calling on pharmaceutical companies to solve supply problems. “Step up and give us the doses we need to vaccinate the people of our city,” he said. “There is not a moment to waste.”
In New York City, like other places across the country, the demand for vaccinations far outstrips the supply allocated each week. Mr. de Blasio said that the city had about 30,000 doses on hand, and that those could run out by Thursday.
A heavy snowstorm this month forced city and state officials to delay appointments for days until driving conditions improved, and New York is expecting about six inches of snow on Thursday.
Winter storm warnings are in place for parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from Thursday morning through Friday night, with up to nine inches of snow expected in New York City and on Long Island, said Jay Engle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Recent storms buried the city in snow, but Mr. Engle described the upcoming weather “not as intense, but enough to make travel difficult.” Winds will also be moderate, reaching 25 miles per hour at most on Thursday evening.
Parts of upstate New York will see only a few inches of snow: Albany may receive up to three inches and Poughkeepsie five inches, according to the Weather Service.
A warning issued for the northeastern region of New Jersey, including parts of Essex, Union, Passaic and Bergen Counties, projects up to six inches of snow, along with sleet or freezing rain. A similar advisory was put in place for southern Connecticut, including parts of Middlesex, New Haven and New London.
As his state was racked with a huge electricity blackout crisis that left millions of people without heat in frigid temperatures, the governor of Texas took to the television airwaves to start placing blame.
His main target was renewable energy, suggesting that when wind and solar power failed, it led to a systemwide collapse.
“It just shows that fossil fuel is necessary for the state of Texas as well as other states to make sure we will be able to heat our homes in the winter times and cool our homes in the summer times,” said Gov. Greg Abbott, speaking on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News. Other conservative talk-show hosts had already picked up the theme.
However, wind power was not chiefly to blame for the Texas blackouts. The main problem was frigid temperatures that stalled natural gas production, which is responsible for the majority of Texas’ power supply. Wind makes up just a fraction — 7 percent or so, by some estimates — of the state’s overall mix of power generation
As frigid weather grips the center of the nation, causing widespread power outages, freezing temperatures, slippery roads and weather-related deaths, Governor Abbott’s voice was among the most prominent in a chorus of political figures this week to quickly assert that green energy sources such as wind and solar were contributing to the blackouts. The talking points, coming largely from conservatives, reinvigorated a long-running campaign to claim that emissions-spewing fossil fuels are too valuable a resource to give up.
The efforts came despite the fact that the burning of fossil fuels — which causes climate change by releasing vast amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere — is helping to drive the phenomenon of increasingly dangerous hurricanes and other storms, as well as unusual weather patterns.
Large parts of the Central and Southern United States have been plunged into an energy crisis this week with electric grids damaged by frigid blasts of Arctic weather. Millions of Americans are without power amid dangerously cold temperatures.
The grid failures were most severe in Texas, where nearly three million customers woke up Wednesday morning facing power failures. On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott called for an emergency reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, saying the operator of the state’s power grid “has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours.”
Analysts have begun to identify a few key factors behind the grid failures in Texas. Record-breaking cold weather spurred residents to crank up their electric heaters and pushed demand for electricity beyond the worst-case scenarios that grid operators had planned for.
At the same time, many of the state’s gas-fired power plants were knocked offline amid icy conditions, and some plants appeared to suffer fuel shortages as natural gas demand spiked nationwide. Many of Texas’ wind turbines also froze and stopped working, although this was a smaller part of the problem.
The resulting electricity shortfalls forced grid operators in Texas to impose rotating blackouts on homes and businesses, starting Monday, to avert a broader collapse of the system. Separate regional grids in the Southwest and Midwest are also coming under serious strain this week.
The crisis highlighted a deeper warning for power systems throughout the country. Electric grids can be engineered to handle a wide range of severe conditions — as long as grid operators can reliably predict the dangers ahead. But as climate change accelerates, many electric grids will face novel and extreme weather events that go beyond the historical conditions those grids were designed for, putting the systems at risk of catastrophic failure.
The power in Jenna Kandyce Linch’s apartment in McKinney, Texas, has been on and off since early Monday morning. After her phone lost power and she couldn’t reach Salvation Army volunteers who were supposed to bring her to a warming center, she realized she needed to find warmth and began to search online for a hotel, finding a room at a local Best Western.
But when she arrived to check-in on Monday night she found out a water pipe had burst and the hotel was closed. She returned to her cold apartment to wait out the storm, alone in the dark.
As Texas continues to grapple with power outages and frigid temperatures, the many people in search of warmth and shelter have swelled demand for hotel rooms to levels not seen since before the pandemic.
But securing a room for the night has not assured an escape from the problems accompanying the storm: hotels have lost power, food has been hard to come by and staffing shortages caused by the pandemic brought another layer of complications.
Calvin Healy, a sales consultant who lives in uptown Dallas, said that he tried to get a hotel on Monday afternoon “to no avail.”
“Every hotel that had power on Monday had negative rooms,” he said, noting that many people he knew fled the Dallas area.
Alexandra Spurlock, a registered nurse who works at an Austin area hospital, was put up at a nearby hotel overnight with other hospital workers to ensure they would be able to make it to their shifts the next day.
Ms. Spurlock said the power went out in the hotel intermittently on Tuesday. When she woke up around 4 a.m. on Wednesday it was completely out, “but it stayed warm.” She got ready for her shift in the dark.
Reports of skyrocketing hotel prices, including screenshots of a Ramada by Wyndham in Austin that advertised rooms for $999 per night, have flooded social media, prompting an outcry over price gouging.
But no guests were charged the exorbitant rates, a spokesman for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts said in a statement.
“Price gouging is always an issue we confront when there is a disaster,” said Justin Bragiel, general counsel of the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association, a lodging industry advocate. He said that in disasters, hotels disable regular pricing systems that automatically raise rates as rooms fill up.
Many hotels don’t have electricity, water or both, Mr. Bragiel said, and have struggled to source food. Some have taken in guests only to have to turn them away because the freezing rooms are no longer habitable, he said.
Record-low temperatures in Texas and elsewhere have strained power grids and forced millions to reconsider how to stay warm. Now, days after that arctic blast chilled parts of the Central and Southern parts of the United States, a new problem is emerging: finding water.
Officials in Harris County, including the city of Houston, announced that residents would need to boil water coming from their faucets before safely drinking it. And the city of Kyle, south of Austin, asked residents on Wednesday to suspend their water use until further notice because of a shortage.
“Water should only be used to sustain life at this point,” officials of the city of 48,000 said in an advisory. “We are close to running out of water supply in Kyle.”
Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said melting snow for drinking water was “an emergency measure, if no other water is available,” it had also been cited as an emergency option by the Food and Drug Administration and the National Weather Service.
The science of measuring how much water can be obtained by melting snow has been studied by NASA.
But melting snow — for drinking, bathing, washing dishes or flushing toilets — safely and effectively may be trickier than many assume.
If you “just take snow, put it in your pot and turn the heat on,” said Wes Siler, a columnist with Outside magazine, “it’s going to take forever and waste a bunch of fuel.” Mr. Siler, who was demonstrating his technique on a small outdoor stove, said it was more effective to melt a small amount of snow first. Then, once that is boiling, add more snow.
This step will “accelerate the process of melting snow tenfold,” Marty Morissette, an outdoor enthusiast, has said. (He said it may be because water transfers heat more effectively.)
Also, since water expands when it freezes, a pot full of snow may turn into a pot with very little boiling water, so be prepared to work with a lot of snow.
This arduous process will produce usable water, but perhaps not the kind of water many are accustomed to receiving from a turn of their faucet.
If you are melting snow on an outdoor fire, the CBC cautions, “the smoke from the fire can affect the taste of the water.”
The C.D.C. urges people to bring the water to “a rolling boil” for at least a minute to “kill most germs” but also politely reminds that it will not get rid of “other chemicals sometimes found in snow.”
Texans who are struggling with a winter storm that has inflicted widespread losses of electricity and natural gas now have something else to worry about: how to avoid a scam.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the operator managing the flow of electricity to more than 26 million customers, has warned residents of a scam circulating on social media that asks people to text their private account numbers. “Don’t do it! We don’t need any of your info to get your power back on — we are working as fast as we possibly can,” ERCOT said.
The Federal Trade Commission, the government agency that tracks these types of fraud, says that scammers surface in nearly every instance of human suffering, concocting stories of fake solutions that they try to sell to people desperate for money, shelter, health or even love.
In 2020, the F.T.C. received nearly 500,000 reports of impostor scams, the most widespread type of fraud in which a scammer pretends to be a person, or from a government agency or a business.
People reported $1.2 billion in losses to scams last year, with a median loss of $850, it said. The top categories of scams were related to Covid-19 and stimulus payments, “proving once again, that scammers follow the headlines,” the F.T.C. said.
In Texas, those headlines have been focused on the record-low temperatures of a winter storm that damaged the electrical grid’s infrastructure as well as caused a spike in demand.
The F.T.C. suggests there are several ways to recognize when an unsolicited call or email is a scam. The caller will often insist that you act immediately and specify forms of payment, such as a gift card or through a money transfer company, or say there is a problem, or a prize. They also pretend to be from a known company or organization.
The F.T.C. advises people to block unwanted calls and text messages, and to avoid providing personal or financial information.
News – Burst Pipes and Power Outages in Battered Texas