Transcript for Millions still without power as new winter storm moves across US
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on this Wednesday night. We are just halfway through this week and tonight another major storm bearing down from the south right up into T northeast tomorrow. Snow, ice, freezing rain, dangerous conditions and this storm has already slammed Texas yet again. Another night there with millions without power, without heat, without water. And authorities acknowledging they do not know when the power will be back on. Grocery stores with empty shelves today, bottled water sold out. At least 30 people have now died in this week's storms alone and this new one now hitting tonight. The images again this evening, this 15-mile traffic jam near Hazen, Arkansas. Multiple accidents on an icy interstate 40. Freezing rain in Austin, Texas, adding a coat of ice to the snow, a car out of control, sliding down an icy hill. Millions without power. Families left to wear multiple layers and huddle with one another. This neighborhood in the dark in Houston. Frozen pipes bursting inside homes and one image seen in so many places today, this one right here, icicles hanging from a fan in a Dallas apartment building. A long line for propane tanks in Houston today. People waiting in freezing rain. Also waiting in line for hours for groceries. These images from Austin, Texas, tonight. Some families showing up at what they're calling warming centers. This one open 24 hours a day in Richardson, Texas, that's outside Dallas. And, of course, the impact on vaccinations across this country. At least 34 states canceling or delaying vaccinations. And in Texas tonight, authorities are now facing tough questions about the power grid there. And the Texas governor and what he's now blaming for the outages. Critics say that's just not true. We have it all covered, beginning with ABC's Marcus Moore, leading us off from Dallas tonight. Reporter: Tonight, with the nation focused on the next winter storm, the humanitarian crisis in Texas is only worsening. Pipes bursting in Austin, water cascading out of buildings. Icy roads sending vehicles sliding down the street. In Houston, authorities responding to more calls for possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Freezing rain and no power making travel dangerous in darkened neighborhoods, some people are even sleeping in their cars. Broken pipes causing ceilings to cave in. This is a very bad situation. A one-two punch here with this second ice storm. Reporter: By midday, significantly more customers in Texas without power as there were during hurricane Harvey. Houston, America's fourth largest city, is telling residents to boil water, if they even have any. Who can we boil water? We don't even have power. Reporter: Our team met Alexandra Quinones in line to buy firewood. We got three kids at home, 4,6, and 9. We're trying to keep the babies warm. Reporter: And in galveston -- The most crowded aisle is the water aisle, but there's not any left. Reporter: Many without power and water. Everything in the refrigerator now has gone bad and supplies are dwindling, and most people out here, the biggest deal is water. People have made some life and death choices. Reporter: Back in Houston, the lights going dark during an interview with mayor Sylvester turner. We've been talking about power being restored now in real time, you have seen power being turned off. Reporter: The state's energy production and Independence has always been a point of pride, and as the crisis persists, the governor placing blame squarely on officials at ercot, the private company that runs about 90% of Texas's grid. Ercot stands for electric reliability council of Texas and they showed that they were not reliable. Do you think ercot leadership needs to resign? Yes. Reporter: Abbott facing criticism for appearing to place some of the blame for the outages on frozen wind turbines. Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis. Reporter: But Abbott's own energy department reports most of the state's energy losses come from failures to winterize systems, including oil and natural gas pipelines. And now, at least two federal agencies are investigating why the system failed so badly. Major questions tonight. And those images from Dallas are still really something to see. Marcus back with us again tonight. All of this, of course, playing out in the middle of this pandemic, Marcus, having a profound impact, as you know, you've been reporting this on vaccinations, major hubs where they've been getting these vaccines out, now affected, causing real delays? Reporter: David, not only are the vaccination sites in 34 states shutting down because of the weather, but the main distribution hub for FedEx and Memphis along with U.P.S. In Louisville, they are both being hit by this storm and that could have a ripple effect across the country. The CDC saying it expects widespread delays over the next several days as this system sweeps across the country, David. Marcus Moore leading us off again tonight here. Thank you, Marcus.
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