Story at a glance

  • The Southern U.S. is being ravaged by historic snowfall that is causing major electric disruptions, especially in Texas.
  • Rolling blackouts and utility failures have forced some to evacuate patients.
  • Hospitals in the state have been crowded with COVID-19 patients amid the ongoing pandemic.

Just as coronavirus hospitalizations began dropping across Texas, Winter Storm Uri crippled hospitals with power outages and water disruptions, forcing emergency evacuations. 

In the city of Austin a number of hospitals and care centers are evacuating patients even as the storm continues outside — and there aren’t many places for patients to go. 


 

READ MORE ABOUT THE TEXAS ENERGY CRISIS

'I GOT NO DEFENSE' TED CRUZ ADMITS IN CONTROVERSY OVER ENERGY POLICIES IN CALIFORNIA AND TEXAS

AOC AND TEXAS GOV. ABBOTT FIRE AT EACH OTHER OVER DEADLY WINTER STORM, GREEN NEW DEAL

BILL GATES SLAMS TEXAS GOVERNOR’S EXPLANATION FOR CATASTROPHIC POWER OUTAGES 

TEXAS DEEP FREEZE CAUSES ELECTRICITY PRICES TO SPIKE 10,000 PERCENT

FIRST POWER, NOW WATER: TEXANS TOLD TO BOIL, CONSERVE WATER AS STATE WARNS OF SHORTAGES


“Because this is a statewide emergency situation that is also impacting other hospitals within the Austin area, no one hospital currently has the capacity to accept transport of a large number of patients," David Huffstutler, CEO of St. David’s HealthCare, said in a statement to the Texas Tribune

St. David’s and another hospital in the area, Ascension Seton, are rescheduling nonemergency procedures and elective surgeries, making room for the influx of patients from the storm. At least 10 are reported dead in Texas, and freezing temperatures are endangering thousands without power.

So far, backup generators have allowed hospitals to continue operating, but several hospitals in Austin are facing problems with water pressure, losing heat and supply as local officials issued a boil water notice on Wednesday. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


"I am personally directing every resource available within our healthcare system to find solutions to best care for and serve our patients during this challenging time," Huffstutler told the Austin American-Statesman.    

In Houston, where officials have also issued a boil water notice, pipes burst in several hospitals, reported the Houston Chronicle, and some facilities are operating without running water. The same problems have been reported in San Antonio, forcing hospitals to use jugs and bottles of water for patients and limiting showers and hand-washing. 

“We’re all working together, just like we’ve done before, pulling resources from wherever they exist, and then sharing those resources,” Mayor Sylvester Turner told the Houston Chronicle. 


READ MORE LIKE THIS FROM CHANGING AMERICA

WHERE WILL YOU GO WHEN SEA-LEVEL RISE FLOODS YOUR CITY? THIS MAP SHOWS YOU

WHAT COMES NEXT FOR THE YOUNG IMMIGRANTS IMPACTED BY SCOTUS RULING ON DACA

LAWMAKERS BATTLE OVER CALLING PEOPLE ‘UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS’ OR ‘ILLEGAL ALIENS’

HOW IS IBM’S WATSON FIGHTING AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

SOUTH SUDANESE REFUGEE TURNS HARROWING EXPERIENCE INTO REMARKABLE NEW VIDEO GAME


 

Published on Feb 18, 2021