As Texas continues to struggle with dangerous power and water outages across the state, some hospitals are reaching the breaking point.
Several Austin hospitals have had to evacuate patients after losing heating and water.
Frozen water pipes bursting and rolling blackouts have killed more than 30 Texans, with millions having also been ordered by Governor Greg Abbott to boil water before drinking it.
The news that hospitals are having to evacuate is made especially serious because the current crisis situation means that many hospitals are not able to accept a large influx of patients at one time and people in need have to be sent out to various hospitals.
In addition to poor and icy road conditions, breaking water pipes and record cold temperatures are putting the Lone Star state in one of the worst situations it’s ever faced and making it an awful time for many residents who are freezing, hungry, thirsty and scared.
‘This is a Statewide Emergency Situation’
St. David’s South Austin Medical Center said it lost water pressure and heat. Staff began giving out bottled water and worked on getting portable toilets installed, while critical patients were evacuated to other hospitals that still had enough heat and water.
St. David’s CEO David Huffstutler explained that patients had to be taken to a variety of hospitals because there isn’t enough room at any one place.
“Because this is a statewide emergency situation that is also impacting other hospitals within the Austin area, no one hospital currently has the capacity to accept transport of a large number of patients,” he explained.
Other hospitals in Texas have also been having serious issues, including Austin’s Ascension Seton Southwest Hospital who were having problems with water pressure and had to reschedule elective surgeries to keep things running safely.
Houston Methodist’s community hospital system also experienced two hospitals with running water issues after frozen pipes burst, and had to cancel all non-critical surgeries for Thursday and maybe Friday.
A source tells me they’re trying to evaluate 300+ patients from a hospital in Austin and that pipes just burst and there’s flooding in the NICU & OR of the children’s hospital. All because Texas wanted to skimp a little and keep our energy grid privatized.
— Emily Porter, M.D. (@dremilyportermd) February 18, 2021
FEMA Helps Out
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gave generators to help water plants stay running during the power outages and has also been giving out meals ready to eat and warm blankets for those in homes for the elderly and hospitals.
Texas restaurants are also coming together to put together food donations for people who still have no power and have difficulty driving on icy road conditions without proper winter tires.
Although most homes have had power restored, there are still hundreds of thousands without electricity in various areas of the Lone Star state, and water outages remain a serious concern, with millions having been advised to boil water before drinking it, including in the Houston Metro Area and in Austin where residents have been advised to save water if possible.
It’s clear that the situation in Texas has become a national emergency and with hospitals losing water and having power problems it is a matter of the utmost importance that the power authorities get things restored to normal as soon as hospital.
Although hospitals generally have generators and reliable backup systems to keep the lights and heat on, it’s very disturbing to hear about patients having to be evacuated even in such a large area as Houston and in the Austin area.
We should pray that everyone makes it through this difficult time as well as praying for the medical professionals and first responders who are stepping up to give it their all and risk their lives during some of the worst weather that Texas has ever experienced in its history.