Winter Storm Leaves 26 Dead, Millions Without Power Across The Country
By Bill Galluccio
February 17, 2021
A winter storm has left at least 26 people dead and millions without power across the country. The storm brought heavy snow and ice along with record cold temperatures. At least three people died from carbon monoxide poisoning while they tried to keep warm during the frigid weather.
Most of the power outages are in Texas, which is struggling to produce enough electricity after the cold weather froze wind turbines and put a massive strain on the coal and natural gas power plants. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has ordered rotating power outages to help prevent the system from overloading, which could cause longer and uncontrolled blackouts across the state.
In the past week, over 2,000 record low temperatures were broken, and on Tuesday (February 16), 20 cities set low-temperature records. Some of those records have stood for more than 100 years. In Oklahoma City, the low temperature was -12 degrees, shattering the record of four degrees set in 1903. San Antonio saw the coldest day since 1895, with a low temperature of 12 degrees.
The winter weather is expected to continue, with more than 100 million people under winter weather advisories. Another storm is expected to move across the country into New England and could dump an additional six inches of snow from Arkansas to Massachusetts. The dangerous cold will continue as some areas will see temperatures below zero with wind chills making it feel even colder.
The cold weather is expected to last through the weekend, though it will get slightly warmer. While some places will see the mercury climb above freezing, the forecasted highs will still be at least ten degrees below normal in some cities.
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