Drinking Water Warning Issued for Texas County

Boil-water advisories are in place for Harris County residents as of Wednesday morning, two days after Hurricane Beryl made landfall, as more than a million people are still without power.

Beryl made landfall in Matagorda, Texas, on Monday morning as a Category 1 hurricane after tearing through the Caribbean. The storm lingered in Texas, causing damage from strong winds and pummeling the region with heavy rain. The storm killed six people in Texas and one in Louisiana after causing 11 deaths in the Caribbean, the Associated Press reported.

Power remains out for more than a million people as energy crews repair damaged equipment. CenterPoint Energy, one of the largest electricity providers in the state, said it planned to restore power to 1 million customers by Wednesday evening.

CenterPoint Energy’s online power outage map is down, but more than 900,000 people in Harris County—which includes Houston—were still without power as of Wednesday morning, according to a report by the Austin American-Statesman.

Several Harris County neighborhoods also have a boil-water advisory in place. Hurricanes can prompt boil-water advisories because of power outages, service line breaks or flooding. The issues can cause a loss of pressure in the waterline or allow contaminants to enter the water.

A Texas Water Utilities dashboard shows that such advisories are in place for these Harris County neighborhoods: Western Trails, Rollan Heights, Orchard Crossing, McGee Place, Homestead Oaks, Fairacres Section 2, Airline Link Addition, Cedar Oaks, Cedar Bayou Estates, Azalea Estates, Aldine Village Subdivision.

“The extreme high winds from Beryl caused a significant number of power outages in our area. While these power outages impacted our operations, our team has worked hard to keep service flowing to our customers,” Texas Water Utilities President Jeffrey McIntyre told Newsweek.

“We do have some areas where the power outages resulted in the need to issue boil-water notices. We continue to make progress in lifting these notices, and generators have been and continue to be installed across our operations to help get customers back to normal service as soon as possible. We appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding.”

Texas Water Utilities advises people to boil water for drinking, preparing baby formula, preparing food, washing produce, making ice, making coffee, preparing other drinks, brushing teeth or giving water to pets when an advisory is in place.

Beryl was the first hurricane in the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which began on June 1 and is set to run through November 30. Experts have repeatedly said they believe this year will be exceptionally strong for hurricanes, citing abnormally warm sea surface temperatures and El Niño’s expected shift into La Niña this summer or fall.

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