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RECORD FREEZE, POWER OUTAGES PARALYZE COUNTY

SAILING ANYONE? Piers and Sailboats covered with ice on Monday, Feb. 15th in Kemah are an example of the severity of the freeze throughout the county. (Jamail photo)

HARRIS COUNTY – An unusual cold front swept through the area starting last Sunday, and resultant freezing low temperatures knocked out power for much of Texas, and brought life to a standstill.

The record-setting cold temperatures went as low as 7 degrees on several nights, and the result was frozen water pipes for many homes and businesses in the county.

This combination of power outages and frozen pipes made life miserable for most families, and additionally threatened the lives of those who gathered indoors for days with no heat. Food supplies and household items were quickly depleted for most. Some sought relief in their cars, or at fast food outlets, and long lines and waits of hours resulted. Most stores and gas stations ran out of stock before everyone was supplied.

Industry experts said the outages were due to improper planning and lack of investment in utility facilities. Blame was aimed at the Governor, the Legislature, and private power providers, as well as ERCOT, the distribution manager.

As life returned to normal this week, investigations were ordered by government authorities, with the promise of remedies in the future.