- The unusually cold winter weather has caused power grids to collapse in parts of the United States. Millions of homes are still without electricity.
- The hard-hit state of Texas has declared a state of emergency. Millions of people in neighboring Mexico have also been affected by the blackout.
- The winter storm killed at least 20 people in the United States.
In Houston, Texas, a woman and a girl died of carbon monoxide poisoning, and police said they left a car engine in a garage to warm themselves. Four members of the family were killed in a house fire in Houston after heating themselves with a fireplace.
The winter storm has claimed four more lives in North Carolina, and at least one homeless person froze to death in the bitter cold. In Chicago, a large amount of fresh snow has forced public schools to cancel classes for Tuesday.
The state of emergency in Texas
The worst blackouts occurred in Texas, affecting more than four million homes and businesses, according to the Poweroutage.us website. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said energy supplies have collapsed as demand increases across the state.
A state of emergency has been declared for the state on the border with Mexico. According to authorities, about 3,300 Texas police officers, about 600 military units, wheeled vehicles from the Forest Service and 700 snow plows are in use.
US President Joe Biden has also agreed to support the Civil Protection Agency. Texas officials ordered 60 generators from Vama and opened emergency shelters for more than 1,000 residents.
The White House announced that US President Joe Biden had spoken to the governors of affected states of Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky about “severe winter weather.” The government will use all available resources to help people survive this “historic storm”.
The weather should not subside on Wednesday either. Authorities in Texas are warning, among other things, of freezing rain. The Austin Electric Company said on Twitter that customers should be prepared for the fact that supply could be cut off Tuesday evening.
Controlled outages in the power supply are currently the “last resort” to maintaining the reliability of the entire power grid, explains Southwest Power Pool’s power grid operator, responsible for 14 states.