Heavy snow and winter storms are wreaking havoc across America. Over 20 people are now reported dead in the extreme weather as water outages and loss of heating hits people from Texas to Louisiana.
In some cases people have died looking for warmth, with one family in Houston dying from carbon monoxide poisoning after trying to warm up in their car in the garage, and another family in Texas dying after the fire in their fireplace spread uncontrollably. At least 13 kids were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning in the past few days in the Fort Worth area, with another adult dying and four people also died in Portland, Oregon from carbon monoxide poisoning this week.
Scientists are claiming that climate change is to blame for causing the polar vortex to reach further south with chilly weather, but scientific theories won’t help anyone at the moment.
What they need is water and power.
How Many People Are Being Hit By Blackouts?
Currently around 100 million Americans are being affected by extreme winter weather in places that don’t usually get it. This comes as a strong winter storm impacted the country from Minnesota to Texas, with many states putting in rolling blackouts in order to try to get some power out to people and prevent freezing deaths and health crises.
The worst problems have been in Texas, where FEMA had to hand over more than 50 generators so hospitals and nursing homes could stay open. Texas state also had to open many emergency shelters so that the millions across the state without power could go somewhere to stay above freezing.
Mexico has also been hit by rolling blackouts after the problems in Texas cut natural gas supply to their country for a limited time, while Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi and the Appalachians have seen hundreds of thousands of people lose power.
Major storm warnings were also put in effect for most areas of the eastern US from Boston to Baltimore, with residents bracing for cold weather and outages. The difference is that those in the Midwest and Northeast are used to dealing with winter weather, whereas Americans down South don’t usually have to grapple with snow and cold of this degree.
National Weather Service weatherman Bob Oravec expressed people’s struggle when he said that “there’s really no letup to some of the misery people are feeling across that area.”
I remember getting a foot of snow Christmas Eve 1963 in New Orleans. A storm like this rarely hits the South
— John Cofield (@john_cofield) February 17, 2021
Oklahoma City to New Orleans Experience Outages
Power outages from Oklahoma City to New Orleans have been causing chaos, bringing the temperature down to -8 in some cases and in New Orleans rolling blackouts were put in, “in order to prevent more extensive, prolonged power outages that could severely affect the reliability of the power grid,” according to Southwest Power Pool utilities group.
Reaching out to those suffering under the cold weather, Vice President Kamala Harris said she is thinking of them and that her and the President are doing all they can to get the power back on.
“I know they can’t see us right now because they’re without electricity, but the president and I are thinking of them and really hope that we can do everything that is possible through the signing of the emergency orders to get federal relief to support them,” she said.
The good news at this point is that temperatures are projected to go above freezing by the weekend, so the process of recovery and getting back to semi-normal can hopefully begin soon. In a year that’s already been full of challenges and obstacles, this is a big struggle for people who usually don’t have to deal with such cold conditions. Stay strong and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.