Photos: Texans struggle during catastrophic winter storm
Power outages and frigid temperatures left Texas reeling.
February 18, 2021, 3:08 PM
weather across the U.S. hit Texas particularly hard, at one point leaving nearly 3 million people without power and many others without water.
"This is the winter version of
Hurricane Harvey," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Houston ABC station KTRK.
At least nine people have died in Texas, according to The Associated Press. The number included three young children and their grandmother who died in a Houston-area fire, which likely began while they were using a fireplace to keep warm during a power outage, a fire official said.
The weather emergency forced the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the agency that oversees the state's electric grid, to use rolling blackouts to conserve power early in the week. The decision
created issues with the supply of heat, food and water. Burst water pipes have added to the critical situation.
People have been forced into shelters and their cars to keep warm or to huddle for warmth in homes with no heat. Gallery Furniture store owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale
opened the doors of his Houston and West Houston stores for people in need of a warm place to stay.
Though the outages have improved as of Thursday, many Texans continue to struggle in freezing temperatures with more bad weather in the forecast.
Howard and Nena Mamu eat dinner at their home by candle light after power companies performed rotating outages in Glenwood neighborhood in Hutto, Texas Feb. 16, 2021. Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman/USA Today Network via Reuters Pedestrians walk on along a snow-covered street on Feb. 15, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Winter storm Uri has brought historic cold weather to Texas, causing traffic delays and power outages, and storms have swept across 26 states with a mix of freezing temperatures and precipitation. Montinique Monroe/Getty Images People wait in line to fill propane tanks, Feb. 17, 2021, in Houston. Millions in Texas still had no power after a historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures created a surge of demand for electricity to warm up homes unaccustomed to such extreme lows, buckling the state's power grid and causing widespread blackouts. David J. Phillip/AP Owner Jim McIngvale, center, talks with people taking shelter inside his Gallery Furniture store after a cripping winter storm, Feb. 17, 2021, in Houston. David J. Phillip/AP People with no power at their homes rest inside a Gallery Furniture store after the owner opened the business as a shelter on Feb. 16, 2021, in Houston. More than 4 million people in Texas still had no power a full day after historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures created a surge of demand for electricity to warm up homes unaccustomed to such extreme lows, buckling the state's power grid and causing widespread blackouts. David J. Phillip/AP Krystan Hood sits with her two young children inside her heated car after cold weather knocked out power in Corpus Christi, Texas, Feb. 16, 2021. Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times/USA Today Network via Reuters A woman carries bottled water she received from a warming center and shelter after record-breaking winter temperatures, as local media report most residents are without electricity, in Galveston, Texas on Feb. 17, 2021. Adrees Latif/Reuters A man walks to his friend's home in a neighborhood without electricity in Pflugerville, Texas, Feb. 15, 2021. Bronte Wittpenn/Austin American-Statesman/USA Today Network via Reuters People line up to fill their empty propane tanks on Feb. 16, 2021, in Houston. Temperatures stayed below freezing Tuesday, and many residents were without electricity. Brett Coomer/AP Customers use the light from a cell phone to look in the meat section of a grocery store Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, in Dallas. Even though the store lost power, it was open for cash only sales. Lm Otero/AP People push a car free after spinning out in the snow on Feb. 15, 2021, in Waco, Texas. A winter storm that brought snow, ice and plunging temperatures across the southern Plains and caused a power emergency in Texas. Jerry Larson/AP Laramie White, whose home was among the thousands in the city that were left without power after extremely cold weather moved through Texas earlier in the week, stays warm with her dogs in her truck in Corpus Christi, Texas, Feb. 16, 2021. Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times/USA Today Network via Reuters A family whose electricity was recently restored, but who still has no water, melts snow on their stovetop to have water to flush toilets and wash dishes in Austin, Texas on Feb. 17, 2021. Ilana Panich-Linsman/The New York Times via Redux Pictures People seeking shelter from below freezing temperatures rest inside a church warming center Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, in Houston. David J. Phillip/AP Police officers Kenneth Bigger, center, and Aaron Day, center right, hand out blankets to people under the elevated portion of I-45 in downtown Houston, Feb. 16, 2021. Jon Shapley/AP Icicles hang on the back of a vehicle, Feb. 15, 2021, in Houston. David J. Phillip/AP