Austin residents ordered to boil water following historic flooding

Austin residents ordered to boil water following historic flooding
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Residents in Austin, Texas, are being urged to boil water in the aftermath of last week's historic storm.

Copious flooding that inundated the city caused riverbeds to overflow in areas and fill up the region's water supply lakes with silt, prompting concerns from city health officials over the state of the local water.

Portions of regional water treatment plants also had to be shut down to clean their filters as a result of the storm surge. Officials placed a water boil notice in the region Monday due to the limited water treatment options.

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"The high level of debris, silt and mud requires extended filtration that slows the process of getting treated water into the system," Austin Water Utility said in a press release.

"To provide necessary water pressure for fire protection, plants must distribute water at treatment levels not typical of the utility’s high standards for consumption."

Rainfall in the region last week totaled 13 inches in some areas and led to widespread flooding. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) declared 18 central Texas counties in a state of disaster from the storm. Last month was the wettest September on record in the state.

City Manager Spencer Cronk said he was told it was the first time in the utility's history that it had to issue a boil notice to all of its customers, the Texas Tribune reported.

“This is simply a case of Mother Nature throwing more at the system than the system can currently process,” Cronk said at a press conference.

The catastrophic flooding in Texas comes after a Category 4 hurricane ripped through Florida's Gulf Coast.

Scientists warn that intensifying weather events are a direct result of warming global temperatures. A United Nations climate change report released earlier this month said that the effects of climate change could soon be irreversible if carbon emissions are not quickly capped. Experts fear that rising temperatures will not only add to stronger storm systems but more costly damage