Sunday, 28 February, 2021

100 million Americans brace for more cold, ice and snow

Customers whose homes are without electric power wait in line to purchase food and snacks at a gas station in Pflugerville 100 million Americans brace for more cold, ice and snow
Ginger Lawrence | 18 February, 2021, 03:22

"I am confident that if we take the politics out of this and let the engineers and the economists and the experts examine what went on here, we will figure out ways to continue the energy transition that's taking place in Texas and around the country while maintaining the reliable affordable grid that really sets Texas and the United States of America apart from the rest of the world", Chatterjee said.

Utilities from Minnesota to Texas implemented rolling blackouts to ease the burden on power grids straining to meet extreme demand for heat and electricity.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said it could be another two or three days before power returns, and that there was a lack of information from state authorities on when electricity would return.

Almost three million customers remained without power early on Wednesday in Texas, Louisiana and MS, more than 200,000 more in four Appalachian states, and almost that many in the Pacific Northwest, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utility outage reports. President Joe Biden's administration said delays in vaccine shipments and deliveries were likely.

In the wee hours Monday morning, electricity demand overwhelmed the grid as temperatures plummeted.

"As the extreme weather in Texas has shown, we can not take energy security for granted, even in a country like the United States", Mr Barkindo said. "Additionally, these weather conditions have forced off generation resources across the system".

Besides the rolling blackouts in Texas, there are more than 200,000 without power in the Appalachian states.

The Southwest Power Pool, a group of utilities covering 14 states, said the blackouts were "a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole".

Cold and wintry weather is forecast to continue for at least the next few days in Texas and much of the eastern half of the United States.

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More than 400,000 additional doses due in Texas now won't arrive until at least Wednesday, officials said.

At least 20 people have died, some while struggling to find warmth inside their homes.

"The sky lit up and there was a lot of pop-pop-popping" and thunder, she said. A MS man died after losing control of his vehicle, which overturned on an icy road Monday night near Starkville, Oktibbeha County coroner Michael Hunt said Tuesday.

Many weather-related deaths so far have resulted from traffic accidents, but Houston police said a woman and a girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning after sitting in a auto in a garage with the engine running to keep warm.

In Oregon, authorities confirmed on Tuesday that four people had died in the Portland area from carbon monoxide poisoning. One parent died of the toxic fumes, pediatrician Phillip Scott told Fort Worth television station KTVT.

Four died in Monterrey, three of them homeless people who succumbed to exposure, and one person at home from carbon monoxide poisoning from a heater.

A man in Louisiana died when he hit his head after slipping on ice, and a 10-year-old Tennessee boy perished after he and his six-year-old sister fell through the ice into a pond Sunday.

At midday, more than 2,700 US flights had been canceled, led by more than 800 at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and more than 700 at Bush Intercontinental in Houston.

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott attributed his state's crisis to the 10% of power plants that are powered by renewables and even went as far as to describe the Green New Deal, a climate proposal by House Democrats, as "deadly" in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity on Tuesday. About 100 school systems closed, delayed opening or switched to remote classes in Alabama, where forecasters said conditions might not improve until temperatures rise above freezing Wednesday afternoon.