At least six people died in a dangerous winter storm system that swept the country, leaving almost five million homes and businesses without electricity in Texas and causing a series of terrifying hurricanes in the Southwest.
Police said he was killed when they lost control of their semi-trucks along the I-64 in Kentucky and collided with a guardrail. 43-year-old grandmother Angel Johnson was removed from the vehicle for not wearing a seat belt.
In the Lafayette Parish in Louisiana, a 50-year-old man died after sliding onto an ice-covered sidewalk and hitting him in the head.
Two people suspected of cold died in Texas; Two people died, including a 78-year-old man who fell into his front yard and was trapped outside in the cold for several hours, and a 60-year-old homeless man who refused in Houston. He was found dead in the bunker and later on an overpass east of Harris County.
Authorities said the youngest of the victims were alleged in Tennessee after a 10-year-old boy tragically fell into a frozen pond and drowned. The boy’s 6-year-old sister also fell out of the ice and is now in serious hospital.
All deaths are linked to Winter Storm Uri, which caused temperatures to drop across the Great Plains and caused widespread flight cancellations and business shutdowns.
Record cold caused polar conditions in Texas, where wind turbines were frozen and wind chills dropped to severe -20F.
According to Poweroutage.us, 4.38 million people in the Lone Star State were currently out of power as of Monday night, while Oregon has experienced more than 303,000 outages and Louisiana more than 109,000 outages.
In Georgia and Florida, several homes and structures were damaged and at least four people were injured after a series of hurricanes that landed on the ground Monday afternoon.
As dusk threatened to drop temperatures to single households in Texas, authorities warned that homes in the state still without electricity will not heat up, at least until Tuesday.
“Things will likely get worse before things get better,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the top official in the county around Houston, where about 5 million people live.
The cost of worsening conditions included new COVID-19 vaccine shipments, which were expected to be delayed at least until mid-week. Major power outages in Houston involved a facility that stores 8,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, and paramedics also caused officials to strive to find recipients while begging people to stay at home.
As far south as San Antonio, temperatures rose to single digits, and already for hours without power, homes had no certainty about when the lights and heat would come back, as the state’s extreme power grid typically started generating power outages. only occurs at 100 degrees Fahrenheit
“We are experiencing a truly historic event right now,” said Jason Furtado, a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, pointing to all of Texas under a winter storm warning and the extent of freezing temperatures.
State officials said the growing demand caused by people trying to keep their homes warm and the shutdown of some power plants was pushing the cold weather of Texas’ system beyond its borders.
This weather event is truly unprecedented. “We all know this,” said Dan Woodfin, senior manager of systems operations at the Texas Electrical Reliability Council. He defended the preparations made by the network operators and described the demand on the system as record-breaking.
This event was far beyond the design parameters for a typical or even extreme Texas winter you would normally plan for. And that’s what we see, ”Woodfin said.
In Dallas, authorities told residents to avoid calling 911 to report power outages, as the 911 call center was overwhelmed with calls for a power outage.
Elsewhere, frozen roads in Austin caused an 18-wheeled vehicle to spiral out of control. According to CBS, a car nearly died by jumping off the road a few seconds before losing control and crashing into a police cruiser.
Half a dozen Houston residents receive treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning after using charcoal grills to heat their homes, authorities say.
The Cy-Fair Fire Department found that six people were transferred to the hospital after using the grill for about four hours. The two were said to be in critical condition. Among those hospitalized, there were four children aged 5-10 years.
The department tweeted, ‘Please remember not to run a generator or grill inside your home. These produce carbon monoxide, a deadly, colorless and odorless gas. ‘