The historic Texas winter storm claimed the lives of nearly two dozen people with more than half reported in the Houston area. Officials say it may be weeks or even months before the final death toll is known.
By late Friday afternoon, officials reported at least 22 people died during the Texas winter freeze. Of those, 12 died in Harris County (Houston) and ten more in Fort Bend (7) and Galveston (3), according to KTRK ABC13.
Most of the deaths came from hypothermia or carbon monoxide poisoning. The death toll is expected to rise and more people are found and autopsies are completed.
Experts say it may take weeks or even months to know exactly how many deaths to attribute to the storm that knocked out power to more than four million Texas customers — some for several days, the Texas Tribune reported.
“It’s a slow process. We may have preliminary information in weeks, not days,” Chris Van Deusen, a Texas Department of State Health Services spokesperson told the Austin news outlet.
He explained that a statewide survey of deaths caused by the storm is ongoing, but “the state won’t have a good indication until death certificates are filed,” the Tribune reported.
The Houston Chronicle reports more than two dozen people died from the week’s winter storm.
Texans suffered from hypothermia as power outages forced millions of Texans to live in below-freezing conditions for days. Symptoms of hypothermia include confusion, memory loss, and can quickly lead to death if the person does not seek or get medical assistance.
Other deaths came as the result of carbon monoxide poisoning as people attempted to use improper heat sources or used power generators too close to open doors.
Priorities for Texans moved from electricity to water as the state experienced failures in water systems across the state. More than 14 million Texans — including more than two million in Houston — are under boil water notices or have no water supply at all, according to a report from the Texas Council on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s Sunday-morning talk show, What’s Your Point? Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Parler @BobPrice, and Facebook.