- Jan 8, 2021
Biden has more blood on his hands.
Record-breaking Storm Uri blankets 73% of America in snow, kills 23 and leaves 3.5m freezing Texans STILL without power: Governor scrambles for answers as he admits it could take DAYS for electricity to be restored in energy-rich Lone Star State
More than 3.5 million Texans are still without power as the death toll from the winter storm which has wreaked havoc across the United States hit 23 Tuesday night.
The record-breaking cold weather claimed more lives Tuesday, including four family members who perished in a Houston-area house fire while using a fireplace to stay warm and a woman and a girl who died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning from a car running in a garage after their home in the city lost power.
Three people were found dead after a tornado hit a seaside town in North Carolina; a Mississippi man died after losing control of his vehicle, which overturned on an icy road Monday night near Starkville. Two men found along Houston-area roadways likely died in subfreezing temperatures, law enforcement officials said.
In Harris County, Texas officials reported more than 300 carbon monoxide poisoning cases as people use BBQ pits and generators indoors in an effort to stay warm. Dr. Samuel Prater, a UTHealth emergency physician told The Houston Chronicle: 'With that number of patients going in, it's turning into a mini mass casualty event.'
In Galveston, the medical examiner's office requested a refrigerated truck to expand body storage.
The power breakdown sparked growing outrage and demands for answers over how Texas — whose Republican leaders as recently as last year taunted California over the Democratic-led state's rolling blackouts — failed such a massive test of a major point of state pride: energy independence.
Governor Greg Abbot has demanded investigation into grid manager, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, as cities including San Antonio, Dallas and Austin were left to shoulder the brunt of a catastrophic power failure.
Rep. Jeff Leach called it 'ridiculous' that five of the 15 ERCOT board members do not appear to live in Texas.
He tweeted: 'I'm filing legislation this session requiring all @ERCOT_ISO officers and directors to be Texas residents. Completely ridiculous and unacceptable that current ERCOT Board Chair lives in Michigan!'
The state is the only one in continental U.S. that has its own power grid; it is not federally regulated.
More bad weather, including freezing rain, was expected Tuesday night with a new winter storm expected in the next two days over the south and east of the country.
The cold spell has already pushed snow cover to an all time high across the 48 states in North America. Official data shows snow currently covers 73.2 per cent of the area with an average depth of 6 inches; a year ago just 35.5 per cent was covered with an average of 4.6 inches of snow.
Several cities had record lows: In Minnesota, the Hibbing/Chisholm weather station registered minus 38 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 39 degrees Celsius). Sioux Falls, South Dakota, dropped to minus 26 Fahrenheit (minus 26 degrees Celsius).
Utilities from Minnesota to Texas implemented rolling blackouts to ease the burden on power grids straining to meet extreme demand for heat and electricity.
Anger over Texas' power grid failing in the face of a record winter freeze mounted Tuesday as millions of residents in the energy capital of the U.S. remained shivering with no assurances that their electricity and heat — out for 36 hours or longer in many homes — would return soon or stay on once it finally does.
'I know people are angry and frustrated,' said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who woke up to more than 1 million people still without power in his city. 'So am I.'
Amber Nichols, whose north Austin home has had no power since early Monday, said: 'We're all angry because there is no reason to leave entire neighborhoods freezing to death. This is a complete bungle.'