The situation in Texas in February during snowstorms was a dire one and it got worse by the day as Texans felt the full force of the bad weather conditions.
Texans had been tossed from one crisis to another for a week as the frigid temperatures of Texas and winter had battered the state and its surrounding regions, leaving multitudes in dire need of basic amenities and in terrible situations.
First came the failure of the power grids, which left millions without electricity to help with heating up during the severe cold. However as power was later restored, another huge problem was noted as millions of Texans began to note that their taps had run dry, the pipes in their homes burst or that their water treatment plants had failed and they would have to boil their water before usage.
The storm also contributed to the delay of the government’s delivery of the Covid-19 vaccines to several states, Texas included and it also caused a shortage of food at some food pantries and grocery stores.
By Saturday, although the power had now been restored to most people across the state, 61,000 in Mississippi and tens of thousands more in Louisiana, Kentucky and West Virginia were still left without electricity for a short while.
The water systems that served the majority of the state’s 254 counties also continue to be disrupted, which has left millions of people without running water or notices to boil the water from their taps.
The disaster led The President of the US, Joe Biden to sign a major disaster declaration form, to enable the government aid the citizens of Texas, ahead of a visit planned to the state. While in Austin the Governor Grey Abbott also held a meeting with legislators to discuss complaints that had come in about the surge in electric bills from consumers.
Why did the power go out?
An estimate of at least four million people in the state were left without power during the high of the power outage and many also lost access to their heaters, a situation that led to even more dangerous conditions across the state of Texas. Even with the restoration, multitudes of Texans are still struggling with a rolling power outage.
The state’s power plants were not equipped enough for the freezing conditions of the storm. The natural gas storages were hit at their hardest, freezing their production as did the pipelines that transport the gas to various destinations. The problem worsened with people turning up their heaters to help with warmth, further increasing demands for Natural gas and also contributing to the power outages.
The death tolls.
Naturally as not a lot of people can survive in weathers that are so cold and harsh, the death toll from the Texas February freeze and the collapse of the statewide electric grid continues to see an increase.
State officials have added 59 more dead people to the list. The toll which went sharply from 151 to 210 deaths could still see an increase as more deaths are being confirmed.
The Texas department of state health services confirmed that the major causes of death were associated with hypothermia.
Other deaths reported across 60 counties also had to do with the carbon monoxide poisoning as freezing Texans sought to find warmth from their cars parked in garages, portable generators, likewise the heat from their in-house grills.
The Governor in an interview stated that
“This was a total failure by ERCOT and they showed they were unreliable”
The Governor expressed his disappointment in the organization as they were supposed specialists and the government had to be able to rely on them in situations like that it was not forthcoming.
There are Epidemiologists investigating the death toll in Texas and ascertaining their connections to the storm, another update is expected by next month so the final conclusion could be drawn.
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