Texas city forced to shut off water due to winter storm

By WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News

(ABILENE, Texas) — City officials in Abilene, Texas, announced Monday night that all city water services had been shut off due to the historic winter storm and subsequent power outages.

The city water services were shut down at 7 p.m. local time “as a result of power outages from both power sources at all three of [the] water treatment plants,” the city said in a statement.

Power has been restored to one water plant as of 11 a.m. Tuesday and crews are working with the “goal of restoring service to most of the city by [the] end of the day.”

The city asks residents keep faucets closed until they are notified it’s safe to do so. It said this “will allow pressure to build faster and expedite the process for everyone.”

When the water is restored, the city said a boil water notice will be in effect until further notice.

Abilene, which is located about three hours west of Dallas, has a population of more than 123,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Hours before the water was shut off, officials pleaded with residents to only use “essential” water because the city’s supply was running dangerously low.

“Your efforts to conserve water will assist the City in ensuring continued water service. Failure to curtail usage will result in loss of water service,” the city said in a statement earlier Monday. “Please forego baths, showers, and other non-life sustaining uses. Use water only for drinking and cooking.”

Abilene and much of Texas are still without power as the state deals with record cold.

“If you are currently experiencing an outage, you will likely be out of power for an extended period of time while this state of emergency continues,” AEP Texas, a utility company, said in a statement Monday.

As of 10 p.m. ET, more than 4.4 million customers are without power in Texas.

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