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An aggressive winter storm that has left millions without electricity, and is keeping the southern United States on alert, has caused the death of at least 14 people, according to local media.
Outages affecting more than 100,000 citizens have also been reported in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, while freezing pipes have damaged the running water supply in places such as Corpus Christi, TX.
In Houston, TX, a woman and a girl died of carbon monoxide poisoning after leaving a car in the garage to heat the house, and a homeless man died of cold.
Elsewhere, a tornado associated with the storm left at least three people dead in North Carolina, damaged half a hundred homes and left thousands of residents without electricity, while a ten-year-old boy died in Millington (TN) when ice broke at his feet on a frozen lake.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. A lot of destruction. It’s going to be a long recovery process,” Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said during a news conference early Tuesday after the tornado struck shortly after midnight near Grissettown in Ocean Ridge, a plantation community.
Law enforcement also reported that two men were found dead along Houston-area roadways. Causes of death were pending, but authorities said freezing temperatures were likely to blame.
The Louisiana Department of Health announced the state’s first storm-related death Monday night after a 50-year-old Lafayette Parish resident slipped on ice and fatally struck his head on the ground.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency also reported two weather-related deaths, but did not provide details, according to Fox 17
As of Tuesday morning, more than 200 locations along highways in the Houston area are ice-covered and “unsafe for travel,” according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
The winter storm has left record low temperatures in hundreds of locations across the United States, with many cities experiencing the coldest temperatures in decades.