(ETH) – Carrol Anderson spent much of his life in Southeast Texas, where the most feared natural disasters spin up from the Gulf of Mexico during the warm months of hurricane season.
But last week, Mr. Anderson, a 75-year-old who breathed with the help of oxygen tanks, knew that a different kind of storm was heading his way. To prepare, he ordered a fresh supply of oxygen that his stepdaughter said never arrived. There was a spare tank, however, in the pickup outside his one-story brick house in Crosby, Texas, just northeast of Houston.
So when Mr. Anderson, an Army veteran who went by Andy, was found dead inside his truck on Tuesday, his stepdaughter figured he had gone outside to retrieve it. His main tank, back in the house, runs on electricity, and the power had gone out the night before as a deadly cold descended on much of Texas.
While the final tally could be much higher, Mr. Anderson was among at least 58 people who died in storm-affected areas stretching to Ohio, victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, car crashes, drownings, house fires, and hypothermia. In Galveston County, along the Texas Gulf Coast, the authorities said two residents had died from exposure to the cold and one person from possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Four other deaths remained under investigation and were possibly linked to the frigid weather. READ MORE
On top of dealing with power outages and boil water advisories, many North Texans have been frustrated by nearly empty shelves at grocery stores across the Metroplex. “I know it’s unnerving for customers when they come in the store and it doesn’t look like the grocery store they know and love,” said Christy Lara, director of public relations for the southern division of Tom Thumb and Albertsons.
“There’s been an increase in demand, coupled with some stores that have dealt with power outages and had to [get rid of] product as a result.” The hazardous road conditions have also made it difficult for suppliers and trucks to get in.
“So that has impacted us exponentially with getting product replenished in our stores,” said April Martin, corporate affairs manager for the Kroger Dallas division. “We’re hoping to see some type of normalcy – I’ll put that in air quotes – by this weekend.” The situation at grocery stores is reminiscent of what happened at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. READ MORE
President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Texas as the state grapples with widespread power outages and water shortages amid freezing winter conditions, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Saturday. The action unlocks federal funding for individuals in Texas, grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.
Millions of Texans have struggled with power outages and more than half the state is experiencing disrupted water service with boil-water notices in effect. More than 14 million people in Texas were told to boil their water as of Friday because parts of the state’s water supply might be contaminated.
The declaration also provides funding for cost-sharing with state and local governments and some private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures and hazard mitigation measures. Dozens of counties will be able to access the aid. READ MORE