Winter storm leaves death toll across several states

Published 10:12 pm Monday, February 15, 2021

Officials in Texas say two people are dead likely because of the subfreezing temperatures that have caused massive power outages across the state.

As nightfall threatened to plummet temperatures again into single digits, officials warned that homes still without power would likely not have heat until at least Tuesday, as frustration mounted and the state’s electric grid came under growing demand and criticism.

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

Law enforcement reported two men were found dead along Houston-area roadways. Causes of death were pending, but officials said the subfreezing temperatures were likely to blame.

The Louisiana Department of Health announced the state’s first storm-related death Monday evening after a 50-year-old Lafayette Parish resident slipped on ice and fatally hit his head on the ground.

The victim was not immediately identified.

Unusually cold temperatures and slippery road conditions prompted officials in the Deep South to urge people to stay home as the winter storms shut down roads and caused traffic accidents, among other issues.

Two people died in separate crashes in Kentucky on Monday as winter weather hit across the state.

One crash happened on Interstate 64 and one was on I-75, Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said during a press conference to update weather conditions in the state, where snow, sleet and freezing rain were falling.

“Do not get on these roads. These roads are extremely hazardous and dangerous now,” Gray said.