Aside from sending a warning to Texans to prepare to endure another frigid night without electricity, officials also cautioned residents from the usage of grills, generators, and other items as an alternative in providing heat indoors to avoid the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.
During a news briefing on Tuesday evening, Dr. Samuel Prater shared the dozens of carbon monoxide poisoning cases in the wake of power outages during Winter Storm Uri.
The emergency room physician at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center also mentioned that aside from being a disaster, this is also a public health emergency. At least two individuals have died, including a child and an adult.
According to The Weather Channel, Lina Hidalgo, the Harris County judge, shared that the fire marshall, hospitals, and other agencies had received at least 300 calls about carbon monoxide poisoning. The Harris County judge even called it a 'disaster within a disaster.'
Moreover, Harris County Fire official Linda Christensen implored residents to spread the word regarding the danger brought by carbon monoxide by texting and calling friends and even neighbors, as well as sharing the warning on social media.
She also emphasized a need for the message to get out as many people are already dying, and we are losing family members because of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Based on the safety rules, it includes the avoidance of using generators, grills, and other items indoors, in garages, or within close proximity to buildings.
In northwest Harris County, the Cy-Fair Fire Department stated that several individuals were using charcoal grills inside their homes for heat. The department then took 14 individuals, including seven children, to hospitals due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
While in the city of Fort Worth, Cook Children's Medical Center treated not less than 13 pediatric patients due to carbon monoxide poisoning as well.
In the latest record, at least 17 deaths have been linked to the storm Uri.
Several million homes and businesses across the South and into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast had no power Tuesday morning, The Washington Post reported.
In the state of Texas alone, four million customers still had no power supply as well.
Some of them were already out of power supply for more than 24 hours after generating stations went offline early Monday.
A Texas utility warned that the grid manager could not predict when grid conditions will stabilize, The Texas Tribune reported. All of the electric consumers are urged to be prepared for extended power outages.
As the outage continues doing damage, it also shut down water treatment plants, which led officials to remind the public about boiling their water before consuming it.
Moreover, according to poweroutage.us, not less than 3.1 million homes and businesses remained without electricity in Texas as of about 6 p.m. EST Tuesday.
Some experts say that the arctic air that poured into the state resulted in a record-breaking demand for power, causing the electric grid in the state to fail.
Suppliers also had planned that they would be opting to rolling blackouts. However, their system was overwhelmed.