Millions endure record cold without power; at least 20 dead

Rodiano Bonacci
Febbraio 17, 2021

Scientists say global warming caused by humans is partly responsible for making its southward escapes longer and more frequent.

Ted Ryan, a meteorologist at the local National Weather Service office, said most of the DFW area had received a half inch to an inch of snow.

More stories from theweek.comPrince Philip hospitalized 'after feeling unwell, ' reportedly not COVID-19 relatedThe Texas power grid failed mostly due to natural gas. President Joe Biden's administration said delays in vaccine shipments and deliveries were likely.

The worst United States power outages have been in Texas, where officials requested 60 generators from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and planned to prioritise hospitals and nursing homes. The state opened 35 shelters to more than 1,000 occupants, the agency said.

Entergy imposed rolling blackouts Tuesday night in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Southeast Texas at the direction of its grid manager, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, "as a last resort and in order to prevent more extensive, prolonged power outages that could severely affect the reliability of the power grid", according to a statement from the New Orleans-based utility.

Vice President Kamala Harris addressed those who had lost power during a live interview Wednesday on NBC's "Today".

The weather also caused major disruptions to water systems in the Texas cities of Houston, Fort Worth, Galveston, Corpus Christi and in Memphis, Tennessee, and Shreveport, Louisiana, where city fire trucks delivered water to several hospitals aand bottled water was being brought in for patients and staff, KSLA News reported.

In Abilene, Texas, firefighters were hampered by low water pressure as they tried to extinguish a house fire this week, the Abilene Reporter News reported.

"As the extreme weather in Texas has shown, we can not take energy security for granted, even in a country like the United States", Mr Barkindo said. Many school systems delayed or canceled face-to-face classes.

In parts of Oklahoma and Texas, it hasn't been this cold in at least a century, and pipes are freezing and exploding.

This comes as states with typically mild winters - including Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Kentucky - are already facing hazardous roads, power outages and water shut offs from the winter storms.

Police in Houston say a woman and child died of carbon monoxide poisoning after they sat in a vehicle running in their garage, and authorities in Sugar Land said a grandmother and three children trying to heat their home died in a fire.

In Oregon, authorities confirmed on Tuesday that four people had died in the Portland area from carbon monoxide poisoning. Officials did not know when power would be restored, but ERCOT President Bill Magness said he hoped many customers would see at least partial service restored by later Wednesday or Thursday.

Meanwhile, at least 13 children were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning at Cook Children's Medical Centre in Fort Worth and one parent died of the toxic fumes, hospital officials said.

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