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Texas' death toll from February storm, outages surpasses 100

by Associated Press | March 25, 2021 at 4:01 p.m.
Vehicles drive through the east side of Austin amid a blackout on Feb. 17, 2021. (Bronte Wittpenn/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

AUSTIN — Texas officials on Thursday raised the death toll from February’s winter storm and blackouts to at least 111 people — nearly doubling the state’s initial tally after one of the worst power outages in U.S. history.

The majority of the deaths are associated with hypothermia, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The number could continue to rise as officials link more deaths to the storm that knocked out power to more than 4 million customers in Texas.

Many homes went without power or drinkable water for days after subfreezing temperatures, failing power plants and record demand for heat pushed Texas’ electric grid to the breaking point.

Texas officials earlier this month put the initial tally of deaths at 57 but warned it would increase.

The disaster has launched a congressional investigation and led to the ouster of the head of the state’s electric grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

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