Considering other states at the same latitude suffered the same storm with a heck of a lot less turmoil and disaster yes, I’d expect that an investigation would find this a case of penny wise and pound foolish. Not that Louisiana or Alabama didn’t also have power outages and such, but they weren’t as extensive, long lasting, or as damaging.
I always wondered by power grid maps of the continental United States were essentially EAST GRID, WEST GRID, and TEXAS GRID. But I really didn’t want to find the answer in THIS manner.
Yep, this is what is happening in Memphis. It’s the first time in modern history we’ve had this problem. A week and a half of well below freezing temps was just too much. We’ve had more snow totals but not on the ground for this long. They have fixed 60 water main breaks so far and expect more as the ground thaws out. And because of the resulting low pressure, it’s hard to maintain the reservoir levels.
The airport has had to close. Restaurants are closed. I just read that the National Guard is bringing in water tankers to help out one of the hospitals that had some breaks. If you can get to a store (I can’t even get down my driveway), bottled water is gone. But I’m thankful I have water and power to boil it! They say they are not going to cut off the water but I’m preparing for that just in case.
FWIW, I sent some money to Texas Habitat for Humanity, because they do long-term assistance, which these people are going to need, big time.
I see what you did there.
The natural gas wells and gathering systems are not built for the type of cold that Texas has been seeing for the past two weeks. A lot of gathering lines essentially froze, cutting off natural gas supplies to the electricity plants that burn natural gas.
Good article in the Dallas Morning News:
That seems weird to me, too. Here in northern Arkansas, we’re also always told to drip the water when it’s cold. But it can get down to the teens (Fahrenheit) and not be a problem with anything freezing. It was the fact that the high was in the teens or lower that was the problem.
This cold snap, however, apparently left all the plumbers in our town very busy. It was very difficult to get through. Fortunately, all that happened for us was that the pipes from the hot water heater to the inside burst. (The cold water for the bathtub also froze up). No one had ever told us you needed to keep the hot water dripping.
Dad has done some work as a construction worker before, and called up a retired plumber in the neighborhood who gave him tips, so he was able to repair the burst pipes himself. Fortunately, nothing else broke.
We have an electric heat wrap on the pipe now. We’d actually done that before, after the last cold snap (not quite this cold) but it had apparently broken, not heating up at all.