White House says severe winter storm likely due to climate change

The logo of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is seen at its headquarters

The logo of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is seen at its headquarters in Washington DC

The storms also left more than 450,000 people from West Virginia to Louisiana without power, while 100,000 in OR are still enduring a week-long outage following a massive ice and snow storm.

Moody's further said that the 1993 winter storm event, from March 11 to 14 that year, is estimated to have cost insurance and reinsurance market interests around $9.1 billion in 2021 dollar terms.

A growing number of people have perished as they struggled to keep warm.

In the Houston area, a family died from carbon monoxide as their auto idled in their garage.

Texans dealing with rolling blackouts and power outages improvised to stay warm.

ERCOT, which manages the state grid, said on Wednesday it had restored power to around 1.6 million households.

"The president also expressed that his administration was at the ready should the state of Texas or any other impacted region need additional federal disaster support or assistance as severe storms move across the USA", the statement read.

Instead of sending inspectors to complete important examinations at state power facilities to ensure they were adequately equipped to handle winter weather and high electricity demands, ERCOT management chose to host "virtual tabletop exercises" for only a portion of their plants, keeping their in-person contact limited to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

About 70,000 power outages persisted after an ice storm in eastern Kentucky, while almost 67,000 were without electricity in West Virginia.

Governor Greg Abbott is expected to comment on issues like power and water in Texas Thursday at 3 p.m.

The city was providing water for flushing toilets and drinking, but residents had to drive to pick it up - leaving elderly and those living on icy roads vulnerable.

In many areas, water pressure dropped after lines froze and because people left faucets dripping to prevent pipes from icing, authorities said. The Texas Restaurant Association was coordinating food donations to hospitals.

More than 320,000 homes and businesses were without power in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Bottled water is being given to residents in Texas. And water pressure problems prompted Memphis International Airport to cancel all incoming and outgoing Friday flights.

Emergency equipment given to Texas by FEMA has reportedly been holed up at a staging area in Fort Worth since Thursday. The website's "misery map" showed even more delays and cancellations at airports from Washington, D.C., to Boston as the latest winter storm front moved through the Northeast. "We never imagined a day where hospitals wouldn't have water", Meszaros said.

Almost seven million Texans were being advised to boil their water before drinking it or using it for cooking, Toby Baker, who heads the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said Wednesday, adding that almost 264,000 people were impacted by non-operational water systems.

About 85 seniors in a Jackson apartment building lost water service Monday and were relying on deliveries from a building manager, said resident Linda Weathersby.

The extreme winter weather has left at least 38 dead nationwide and almost 72 percent of the U.S. with snowfall.

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