5 things for Houstonians to know for Thursday, Feb. 18

Cy-Fair Fire Department responds to a 1-alarm fire in the 4800 block of Pine Cliff Drive on Feb. 16, 2021, in Houston
Cy-Fair Fire Department responds to a 1-alarm fire in the 4800 block of Pine Cliff Drive on Feb. 16, 2021, in Houston (Cy-Fair Fire Department)

Here are things to know for Thursday, Feb. 18:

1. At least 20 dead as millions endure record cold without power

Millions of Americans endured another frigid day without electricity or heat in the aftermath of a deadly winter storm as utility crews raced to restore power before another blast of snow and ice sowed more chaos in places least equipped to deal with it.

Nearly 3.4 million customers around the U.S. were still without electricity, and some also lost water service. Texas officials ordered 7 million people — a quarter of the population of the nation’s second-largest state — to boil tap water before drinking it following days of record low temperatures that damaged infrastructure and froze pipes.

The latest storm front was certain to complicate recovery efforts, especially in states that are unaccustomed to such weather — parts of Texas, Arkansas and the Lower Mississippi Valley.

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2. Firefighters respond to several fires across Houston area as power outages continue

Local firefighters have been responding to several home and apartment fires as millions go without electricity and heat for days.