Winter storm left millions without power, at least 20 dead

Winter storm left millions without power, at least 20 dead

Millions of people in the U.S. state of Texas have woken without heating again, as power failures continued to plague the state following a historic winter storm that has killed 21 people so far.

The storm was part of a massive system that brought snow, sleet and freezing rain to the southern Plains and was spreading across the Ohio Valley and to the Northeast. Wind-chill warnings extended from Canada into Mexico.

The NPR member station adds that county officials have also reported more than 300 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning since Monday as residents going without electricity search desperately for alternative sources of warmth.

The weather has threatened to affect the nation's COVID-19 vaccination effort. President Joe Biden's administration said delays in vaccine shipments and deliveries were likely.

On Tuesday, three people were found dead after a tornado hit a seaside town in North Carolina.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said the winter storm will move towards the northeast United States before "making a beeline for eastern Canada".

Another 103,000 people reported outrages in Louisiana, while almost 51,000 are left without power in Mississippi. Four million people lost power in Mexico.

TDEM: The Texas Division of Emergency Management has a map of all the warming centers around the state.

More than 500 people sought comfort at one shelter in Houston.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric rescinded plans for further blackouts but urged users to set thermostats at 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius), avoid using major electric appliances and turn off lights or appliances they are not using.

The rolling power outages forced the city of Fort Worth to extend a boil-water notice for roughly 212,000 residents.

"The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours", said Governor Abbott.

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Meanwhile, people were coping the best they could.

"We've never had this much cold".

"Those very same areas could be impacted - that will include tornadoes and damaging winds", he said.

Four died in Monterrey, three of them homeless people who succumbed to exposure and one person who died at home from carbon monoxide poisoning from a heater.

Sharon Benson, 63, said her roof was damaged and her garage door blown off. Windows were shattered and nearby trees were uprooted.

Authorities were reportedly struggling to clear roads, as they did not have snow plows because the state so rarely needs them.

In west Tennessee, a 10-year-old boy died after falling into an ice-covered pond on Sunday during a winter storm, fire officials said.

Air travel was also affected.

More than 2,000 flights have been canceled amid the severe weather.

"The result can be episodes of plunging temperatures, even in places that rarely get nipped by frost".

"Although we've reconnected more consumers back to the grid, the aggregate energy consumption of customers (those recently turned back on and those already on) is actually lower this morning compared to yesterday because it's less cold", said ERCOT Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin.

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