In Texas, unprecedented frosts: people were left without heat, electricity and water at -22 ° C
Several cities in the United States have seen record low temperatures as the country was hit by a winter storm this week, which led to school closures and power outages. He claimed the lives of at least 21 people. What happens in historically warm Texas due to unprecedented cold weather, the publication said Unilad.
Texas is one of the hardest hit states, in part because this cold is rare. Temperatures in the central and southern regions of the state typically range from 20 ° C (68 ° F) to 24 ° C (75 ° F) in February, but they have now dropped to -22 ° C (-7,6 ° F).
Texas resident Thomas Black decided that it would be difficult for many residents of the United States, especially the southern states, to understand how cold it was there, so he posted an amazing photo as an illustrative example of the cold.
The picture, taken apparently in the hallway of his home in a suburb of Dallas, shows ceiling fan with huge icicles hanging from the blades... Along each side of the corridor is ice covering the walls.
Next to the photo, Black wrote: “This is how cold it is in my apartment. Yes, as a Texan - I'm definitely not made for that. "
This image is one of many that Black shared as the winter cold storm progressed in Texas.
Shocking! 😱 Turn up the volume!
Pipes busted from freezing. (Denton, Texas)
Please, If you are in Texas and you have not done so, let a couple of faucets drip until the freeze is over! #TexasFreeze #Texas #Denton pic.twitter.com/PE9Fy9jv7w
- Anas Alhajji (@anasalhajji) February 15
On February 15, he signed photo of a frozen pool: “Yes, we are not used to ultra-low temperatures. But I've never seen the pool start to freeze. "
Black posted several photos with frozen corridors, where ice covers the walls and signed them "Winter Apocalypse" and also video of it snowing in Texas.
"I'm in Houston, Texas, freezing cold," tweeted Chris Prince wrote. - No electricity, no heat, no water. I have four small children ", he quotes with the BBC.
Another user, Josh Morgerman, reported that a friend from Texas began “burning furniture in the fireplace” to keep warm.
On the subject: Test yourself: 5 myths on how to warm yourself in the cold
Homes in the state are usually not adapted for cold weather, which means that temperatures quickly dropped to freezing after heating systems failed. Frozen pipes burst despite attempts by some homeowners to isolate them from the cold with blankets.
Chuck Hairston, who lives on the outskirts of Fort Worth, has been without electricity for nearly 31 hours.
He said his family slept by the fireplace using "all the blankets and pillows they could find in the house."
State of emergency
Because of the storm, US President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Texas and sent federal aid in addition to state and local government efforts.
More than 4,3 million people in the state were left without electricity as high demand for electricity led to grid outages and indoor temperatures quickly dropped as thermal systems in homes began to fail due to lack of building insulation.
The senior director of Ercot (Texas Electricity Reliability Board) said state residents could face intermittent power outages on Thursday, February 18.
Extreme weather is predicted to last until the weekend.
Deaths caused by the storm have been reported in Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Missouri.
The ice storm even reached northern and central parts of Mexico.
What are the authorities doing
State Governor Gregg Abbott signed a decree banning the export of Texas natural gas out of state until February 21.
The scale of the power outage has angered some state officials and residents. Abbott called the situation "unacceptable."
He called for an investigation into Ercot, which is responsible for the state's vast majority of electricity, to find the “root of any mistakes” that led to widespread blackouts. He said that this body should be reformed, and its leadership should resign.
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“This is a complete failure,” the governor said. "They showed they were unreliable."
Public health disaster
Reported deaths from the storm include people who have died in road traffic accidents and those who have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning from running generators in enclosed spaces.
"This is an absolute disaster for public health," said one of the health workers in Houston. "Carbon monoxide poisoning certainly happens when it gets cold, but never in such quantities."
Harris County reported more than 300 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning during the cold snap. “This is turning into a mass casualty event,” said the district doctor.
At least four people died in a fire in one of the houses in Houston. The fire could have been caused by candles, officials said. In addition, police said two men found off a highway in Houston were believed to have died from hypothermia.
The abnormal cold forced COVID-19 vaccination centers to close for days and made it difficult to deliver doses in several US states. Some centers were quick to use vaccines that could no longer be refrigerated at the required temperature.
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