A huge winter storm in the southern United States killed at least 21 people and left millions without electricity

There have been widespread power outages in Texas where the power grid was overwhelmed by a surge in demand

Millions of people in the state who rarely have temperatures this low are struggling to cope with the lack of power and cold conditions

Deaths attributed to the storm were recorded in Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Missouri

The National Weather Service (NWS) said more than 150 million Americans are now under winter storm warnings

And on Tuesday it was reported that more than 73% of the US was covered in snow

The icy storm has even reached northern and central parts of Mexico, where millions of people have experienced days of intermittent power outages

“I freeze to death in Houston, Texas,” wrote a Twitter user, Chris Prince, “No electricity, no heat, no water I have four young children. How is this happening now?”

Another user, Josh Morgerman, wrote that a friend in Texas had resorted to “burning furniture in the fireplace” to keep them warm

Scientists have linked climate change to an increasing number of severe weather events worldwide, including hurricanes, heat waves, and floods

Recorded deaths include people who died in road accidents, as well as some who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from running cars and generators indoors to keep warm

“This is an absolute public health disaster,” a Houston medical officer told local television station KPRC-TV, “[Carbon monoxide poisoning] certainly happens when it gets cold, but never in these numbers.” >

One county said it saw more than 300 suspected carbon monoxide cases during the cold snap. “It’s going to be a small mass casualty incident,” a Harris County doctor told the Houston Chronicle

At least four people were killed in a Houston house fire that officials said may have been sparked by candles, police said two men found on a Houston freeway died of the cold

In North Carolina, a tornado triggered by the same storm killed three people and injured ten

The cold snap has also forced Covid-19 vaccination centers to close for several days and hampered the dispensing of doses, with some centers racing around vaccines that could no longer be refrigerated at the required temperature

The state has seen some of its coldest temperatures in more than 30 years – some areas hit 0 ° F (-18 ° C) on Sunday – and U.S. President Joe Biden previously approved a state of emergency

Around four million people in Texas are without electricity, including 14 million in Houston Around a quarter of the houses in Dallas also suffer from power outages

The scale of the blackout has angered some officials and local residents. Governor Greg Abbott said the situation was “unacceptable”

He called for an investigation by the Texas Electric Reliability Council (Ercot), an energy cooperative responsible for the vast majority of the state’s electricity, later telling local media that the body should reform and its leaders resign >

“This was a total failure,” he told ABC News, “They showed they were not reliable”

In a tweet on Tuesday, Ercot said it was “restoring the load as quickly as possible in a stable manner”

Homes in the state are typically not insulated from cold weather, which means indoor temperatures in houses quickly dropped to freezing point after heating systems failed and frozen pipes also burst, although some homeowners have tried to protect them from the cold with blankets / p>

Chuck Hairston, who lives in suburban Fort Worth, was without power for about 31 hours when he spoke to the BBC on Tuesday

He said his family slept by the fireplace, which was covered with “every blanket and pillow we could find in the house.” He tried local hotels, but they were either fully booked or had no power

Icy roads have also resulted in a spate of road accidents, and people have been advised to avoid travel whenever possible

How do you deal with the freezing conditions you are in? Tell us via email: haveyoursay @ bbccoUnited Kingdom

Please provide a contact number when you are ready to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact them using the following methods:

The imprisonment of the daughter of the ruler of Dubai has also been described by Great Britain as “deeply worrying”

Mars landings that went (and did not work) VideoMars landings that went (and did not go) according to plan

© 2021 BBC The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites Read more about our approach to external linking

Texas, Texas Weather

World News – UK – Texas Weather: Deaths Rise as Winter Storm leaves millions without electricity

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-56095479