As a severe winter storm struck the United States, millions have been affected in the country but Texas suffered the most as the wind turbines used to generate power in the state froze under extremely low temperature, leaving four million people without electricity even as temperatures dropped.
Millions were left without electricity as a winter storm struck the southern and central United States in record-breaking cold weather. Around 20 storm-related deaths have been reported so far, including traffic accidents in Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas.
Texas was the hardest-hit state and it was put under winter warning for the first time in history. A rare deep freeze in Texas forced the state’s electric grid operator on Monday to impose rotating blackouts, leaving four million people without electricity even as temperatures dropped. NBC reported that a woman and girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning after using a car to generate heat.
The state’s electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas on Monday first announced that rolling blackouts would last just 20-45 minutes. However, in some parts, that blackout went to 4–6 hours and in other areas, homes have been without power or water for more than 24 hours. Texas state officials have called for an investigation of the state’s power grid system after the incident.
Texas shut down almost completely. Due to snow, the Houston Airports Hobby and Bush InterContinental were closed. In Chicago, a foot and a half of new snow forced public schools to cancel in-person classes for Tuesday.
US President Joe Biden promised to provide additional emergency resources for those affected by the “historic storm.” A White House statement also stated that Biden thanked the “road workers, highway patrol officers, and first responders who are taking swift action in horrific conditions to save lives.”
The harsh weather has also threatened to affect the US Covid-19 vaccination efforts. Biden’s administration said that delays in vaccine consignments and deliveries were likely to occur.