Texas revises death toll from February cold wave and power outages to 210

The deaths occurred mostly from exposure to the sometimes-subzero temperatures.

The power infrastructure in Texas collapsed as it couldn't keep up with rising demand mainly due to a surge in heating requirement
The power infrastructure in Texas collapsed as it couldn’t keep up with rising demand mainly due to a surge in heating requirement (AP)

State officials have added 59 deaths to the toll wrought by the February 14 cold wave and the ensuing collapse of the Texas electric power grid.

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The deaths newly tallied by the Texas Department of State Health Services and published on Tuesday boost the toll from 151 to 210 deaths, most from exposure to the sometimes-subzero temperatures.

Still, some were blamed on carbon monoxide poisoning as freezing Texans sought warmth from cars and outdoor grills.

The count remained preliminary and may change as more deaths are confirmed, the department said.

The county with the highest death toll was Harris, where Houston is situated, with 43 deaths.

Travis County, where Austin holds most of its population, had 28 deaths. Dallas County reported 20 deaths.

The toll is a far cry from the initial March 15 report of 57 deaths. The toll was raised to 111 on March 25, 125 on April 6 and 151 on April 28.

The collapse of the power grid managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has made electric reliability in Texas an ongoing political question.

In early June, Governor Gregg Abbott declared that state politicians had fixed the problem during its regular session that had just adjourned.

Since then, two conservation alerts issued by ERCOT during temperate spring weather prompted renewed questions, and Abbott ordered new measures by the Public Utility Commission that he appointed and that oversees ERCOT.

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