Millions Struggle Without Power as Deadly Cold Snap Grips US

A boy walks up a snow-covered hill after sledding down it in a box in Houston Texas the United States

A boy walks up a snow-covered hill after sledding down it in a box in Houston Texas the United States

Deaths in Texas included a woman and a girl died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in Houston, at a home without electricity from a auto running in an attached garage, police said.

County officials distributed the doses at three hospitals, Rice University and the county jail because those places had large groups of people in places where they would not have to drive and with appropriate medical personnel on hand. More than 250,000 people also lost power across parts of Appalachia, and another quarter million were without electricity following an ice storm in northwest OR, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utility outage reports.

Authorities were reportedly struggling to clear roads, as they did not have snow plows because the state so rarely needs them.

In Houston on Monday, a homeless man was killed "possibly from exposure", according to the Harris County Sheriff's Department, and the city's police chief said another man had been found dead after potential exposure to low temperatures. The state's overwhelmed power grid imposed blackouts that are typically only seen in 100-degree Fahrenheit (38-degree Celsius) summers.

"Things will likely get worse before they get better", said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the top elected official in the county of almost 5 million people around Houston.

Wind generation ranks as the second-largest source of energy in Texas, accounting for 23% of state power supplies previous year, behind natural gas, which represented 45%, according to ERCOT figures.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said other warming centres had to be shut down because they lost power.

An Arctic air mass causing the chill extended southward well beyond areas accustomed to icy weather, with winter storm warnings posted for much of the Gulf Coast region, Oklahoma and Missouri, the National Weather Service said.

High-risk arrivals to United Kingdom must quarantine in hotels from Monday
One of the Heathrow Airport hotels taking part in the scheme is Novotel London Heathrow T1 T2 T3. There will be no additional fees for children under five.

The toll of the worsening conditions included setbacks in the delivery of new COVID-19 vaccine shipments, which were expected to be delayed until at least midweek.

Texas officials said more than 400,000 additional doses due now will not arrive until at least Wednesday because of the storm.

Several cities in the United States saw record lows as Arctic air remained over the central part of the country.

Authorities pleaded with residents to stay home Tuesday.

Ice storms knocked out almost half the wind-power generating capacity of Texas on Sunday as a rare deep freeze across the state locked up turbine towers while driving electricity demand to record levels, the state's grid operator reported.

Nebraska's blackouts came amid some of the coldest weather on record: in Omaha, the temperature bottomed out at 23 degrees below zero overnight, the coldest in 25 years.

According to the Poweroutage.us tracking site, more than four million residential, commercial and industrial customers were without electricity in Texas as of Tuesday morning.

"But not before it causes heavy snow and freezing rain in parts of the eastern Great Lakes and New England", the NWS said.

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