As the South carried on with recovery efforts in the wake of a devastating winter storm, hospitals around the region grappled with water shortages as the South experienced low water supply on Sunday
During the height of the storm, hospitals were left struggling to care for patients in the middle of the record cold, snow, and ice that battered numerous portions of the country more accustomed to going through winter with light jackets and short sleeves. The snowstorm did not only cause ruptured water mains, knocked out power to millions of utility customers but also caused 76 deaths.
Half of the reported deaths happened in Texas. While at least seven individuals died in Tennessee and in Portland, Oregon, they recorded four deaths.
According to Fox news, in Anahuac, Texas, which is around 80 kilometers or 50 miles east of Houston, a rural hospital in the area did not only experienced low water supply and low power supply, but they totally lost it.
In addition, the CEO of Chambers Health, William Kiefer, which runs the hospital along with two clinics and a wellness center, stated that the facilities resorted to backup generators and water from a 275-gallon storage tank. They added that they refilled it three times while using water from their wellness center's swimming pool.
Kiefer also added that on Monday, when temperatures were in the teens, a woman who is about to give birth walked into the medical facility after she could not make it through the snow and ice to her hospital in suburban Houston. The CEO of Chambers Health also shared that an emergency room staff delivered the baby safely.
Moreover, Kiefer stated that if their medical facility was not in the area, it would have taken another two hours for the woman to go to the suburban Houston hospital. The CEO also mentioned that they previously assumed that if she went to the suburban Houston hospital, she would have had the baby inside her car in the middle of the snow, and it is not a good situation for her, The Eagle-Tribune reported.
The head of the medical facility also stated that the water was restored on Thursday, while the operations had returned to normal on Sunday. The medical facility also plans the possibility of the installation of sophisticated backup systems.
The spokeswoman of Houston Methodist Hospital, Gale Smith stated that the low water supply had been cleared after it was restored at two of the system's community hospitals. Smith also mentioned that the system is dealing with an influx of dialysis patients after local centers closed.
After temperatures plunged as much as 40 degrees below normal compared to the previous week, the forecast for the Houston area on Sunday was called for a high of 65 degrees or 18 degrees Celsius. The city lifted its advisory about water boiling on Sunday afternoon after the restoration of some ruptured water mains which caused the low water supply.
Hundreds of cars are still lining up at NRG Stadium in order to receive water and food from the Houston Food Bank. Aside from those individuals who are lining up, the bank also delivered supplies to vulnerable citizens, which includes seniors and the disabled, US News reported.