AP PHOTOS: Winter storms spread power and water woes

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Houston Police officers Kenneth Bigger, center, and Aaron Day, center right, hand out blankets to people under the elevated portion of I-45 in Houston, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, as a winter weather continues to hit the area. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Power has been restored to more Texans, with fewer than half a million homes still without electricity. But many people were still without safe drinking water after winter storms wreaked havoc on the state’s power grid and utilities this week.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says 7 million people have been ordered to boil their water before consuming it, following days of record low temperatures that damaged infrastructure and froze pipes.

The cold weather is driving people to do things and go places they wouldn’t have imagined just a few days ago out of fear of putting themselves in danger of getting infected by the coronavirus. Without heat or running water, some are staying with relatives or friends, or flocking to shelters or even stores to escape the intolerable conditions.