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Water Returning To Austin As Texas Recovers From Deep Freeze And Power Failures

Marie Maybou melts snow on the kitchen stove on Friday in Austin, Texas. She was using the water to flush the toilets in her home after the city water stopped running.
Joe Raedle
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Marie Maybou melts snow on the kitchen stove on Friday in Austin, Texas. She was using the water to flush the toilets in her home after the city water stopped running.

Water pressure should be restored to most of Austin, Texas, over the weekend, Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros said at a news conference Friday. The state is recovering from the cold and snow and resulting power outages, which shut down water treatment plants.

It might not be full pressure, he said, but the main goal right now is to get every household water.

Meszaros noted there is still a boil-water notice in effect and asked that residents still conserve water.

The system is a little tender, so start off slow as you have water or as you get water," he said. "Just kind of be cautious, and if everyone uses a reasonable amount of water everything is going to be fine."

That means don't use major appliances like dishwashers or laundry machines, and don't take multiple showers in a day.

Austin is also expecting shipments of clean, bottled water that the city purchased and through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. City Manager Spencer Cronk said the city would post where people can pick up that water. Officials are choosing distribution sites based on how easy it is to get to them as roads continue to thaw. Cronk said there would be one case of water given to each car.

Meszaros said he hopes to left the boil-water notice in the coming week, but right now his agency's focus is getting any trickle of water to people throughout the city.

A map released by Austin Water on Friday morning showed the entire city as having low water pressure or no water all.

Copyright 2021 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit .

Claire McInerny
Claire McInerny is the education reporter for KUT. Previously, she was a statewide education reporter for NPR member stations in Indiana. She won an Edward R. Murrow award for a series she did there about resources for English Language Learners in the state’s rural school districts.
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