Frozen trees created a surreal scene on Lake Fausse Point in Louisiana, Tuesday, February 16, as winter storms batter the southern United States.
READ MORE: Millions of people in the United States are facing frigid, stormy weather, although the number of people without power in the southwestern state of Texas dropped below a half million on Thursday for the first time in four days.
Electricity in Texas, the country’s second-biggest state, was restored to about 2.5 million people. The head of the cooperative that is responsible for most of the state’s electricity said there was progress Wednesday in boosting available power and that officials hoped that soon people would only have to deal with rolling blackouts before service is fully restored.
But the state faced a new problem, with officials ordering 7 million people, about a quarter of its population, to boil tap water before drinking it because of damaged infrastructure and frozen pipes.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott urged residents, if possible, to shut off water to their homes, to prevent pipes from bursting and preserve water pressure in municipal systems.