Odessa Water Outage Marks Yet Another Crisis for Texas in Less Than 2 Years

The water outage in Odessa, Texas, marks another crisis the face has experienced over the past two years, following a winter storm and power outage that left 240 residents dead and the recent school shooting in Uvalde that saw 18 students and two teachers fatally shot.

On Monday, a water main break in Odessa left at least 165,000 customers without water. This is the latest in a series of crises that the state has faced in recent years.

"A major water break has occurred at the intersection of 42nd & San Jacinto. Crews are actively working to close valves in the system to isolate the break, however, this is taking longer than anticipated," the city of Odessa said in a statement on Tuesday. "Water levels have reached a point that a Boil Water Notice is being issued. Citizens should expect a significant loss in water pressure or no pressure at all. In either case, the Boil Water Notice will remain in effect until water pressure has been restored."

The water outage comes as the city of Odessa is currently facing "above-normal" temperatures, the National Weather Service reported.

Odessa Water Outage
Odessa is currently facing a water outage after a water main break, resulting in the city imposing a boil water notice for hundreds of residents. City of Odessa/Facebook/City of Odessa/Facebook

According to NBC News, shortly after the water main break occurred, the Ector County Office of Emergency Management issued a disaster declaration which warned of "severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property," for the residents of Odessa.

However, on Wednesday morning, the city of Odessa issued an update on the situation, saying, "Repairs to the line were completed at approximately 3:45 a.m. this morning, but a Boil Water Notice is still in effect until further notice."

"The City has begun to turn the system back on slowly to maintain the strength of all lines. After full pressure is reached, the city will remain under a boil water notice for the next 24 hours," the update added.

Prior to the update on Wednesday morning, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he was directing state agencies to assist with the water outage.

"The State of Texas is taking swift action to respond to Odessa's impacted water supply and support the local community in meeting their water needs," Abbott said in a statement on Tuesday. "I urge residents in Odessa to follow guidance from local officials and take the proper precautions to ensure their health and safety as we work together to restore safe tap water in the community."

Texas has faced at least two other major crises in less than two years. In February 2021, extreme cold temperatures hit throughout Texas, causing the state's electricity grid, powered by Electric Reliability Council of Texas, to struggle. Hundreds were left without power during the winter storm and many others died as a result of the lost power and cold temperatures.

Texas faced crisis of another type just last month when 18-year-old Salvador Ramos traveled to the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and fatally shot 21 individuals, making it the second deadliest school shooting in the country since Sandy Hook in 2012. Following the shooting on May 24, many have criticized the police response, prompting the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into the response.

Newsweek was directed to the city of Odessa website for updates on the water outage after reaching out for comment.