Two dead in Texas amid subfreezing cold snap

  • Two dead in Texas amid subfreezing cold snap

Two dead in Texas amid subfreezing cold snap

The winter storm left millions without power, bringing record-breaking cold weather, overwhelming power grids, and immobilizing the Southern Plains.

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

More than 500 people were hunkering down at one shelter in Houston, but Mayor Sylvester Turner said other warming centers had to be shut down because those locations, too, lost power. Some utilities said they were starting blackouts, while others urged customers to reduce power usage. At Dallas/Fort Worth International, the temperature was 4 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius), colder than Moscow.

As nightfall threatened to plummet temperatures again into single digits, officials warned that homes still without power would likely not have heat until tomorrow, as frustration mounted and the state's electric grid came under growing demand and criticism.

After a facility storing 8,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine in Houston lost power, health officials hurriedly worked to distribute it before it expired at the same time authorities were pleading for people to stay home.

County officials distributed the doses at three hospitals, Rice University and the county jail because those places had large groups of people in places where they would not have to drive and with appropriate medical personnel on hand.

The tornado that hit Brunswick County was an EF3 with winds estimated at 160 miles per hour, the weather service said on Twitter. Resident Sharon Benson told CBS News she was shocked by the tornado, because forecasters "said it was going to rain".

"The sky lit up and there was a lot of pop-pop-popping". A MS man died after losing control of his vehicle, which overtuned on an icy road Monday night near Starkville, Oktibbeha County coroner Michael Hunt said Tuesday.

Christine Chapman, center, sets down an empty canister to exchange for a full propane tank from Robert Webster, left, outside a grocery store in Dallas, Texas, on February 16, 2021.

In hardest-hit Texas - where freezing conditions prompted utility companies to implement rotating blackouts - a woman and girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning after using a vehicle to generate heat, according to NBC News.

Several cities in the USA saw record lows as Arctic air remained over the central part of the country.

Rolling outages also affected some northern Iowa counties, where overnight lows dipped to almost 30 below around Sioux City and wind chills to around 40 below in some places.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, dropped to minus 26F.

Of the 25 000-plus megawatts of wind-power capacity normally available in Texas, some 12 000 megawatts was out of service as of Sunday morning "due to the winter weather event we're experiencing in Texas", ERCOT spokesperson Leslie Sopko said.