Extreme Cold Killed Texans in Their Bedrooms, Vehicles and Backyards
At least 58 people died in storm-affected areas stretching to Ohio, victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, car crashes, drownings, house fires and hypothermia, New York Times reports.
In Galveston County, along the Texas Gulf Coast, the authorities said two residents had died from exposure to the cold and one person from possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Four other deaths remained under investigation and were possibly linked to the frigid weather.
Judge Mark Henry, the county’s top elected official, said he would have evacuated some of his most vulnerable residents in advance of the winter storm had he known that power outages would plunge the county into darkness for a few days. He said the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s power grid, had warned only of rolling blackouts. Instead, most residents were without power for at least 48 hours.
“We would have been happy to order an evacuation if we’d been told Sunday the power was going to go out and stay out for four days,” he said, noting the county is more accustomed to ordering evacuations in advance of hurricanes.