Story at a glance
- February’s winter storm Uri could have caused 194 fatalities.
- Approximately 74 percent were people of color.
Texans are still reeling from the fallout of Winter Storm Uri’s devastating power outages, with new reports suggesting 194 fatalities are linked to the power outages caused by the massive snowfall and icy conditions.
The Houston Chronicle analyzed reports from medical examiners, state officials, and official documentation from the Department of State Health Services, in addition to pending lawsuits. The paper’s result is about double the state’s official count.
“This is almost double the death toll from Hurricane Harvey,” State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D) of Dallas said. “There was no live footage of flooded homes, or roofs being blown off, or tidal surges, but this was more deadly and devastating than anything we’ve experienced in modern state history.”
Reporters note that Texas’s count is preliminary and has yet to report some fatalities as storm-related.
Out of the 194 counted deaths, 100 were cases of hypothermia, 16 carbon monoxide poisonings and 22 died when medical life support devices failed due to the lack of power.
Another 16 fatalities came from fires or vehicle crashes, which were still attributed to Uri.
Notably, 74 percent of the fatalities were people of color.
Texas reportedly has a decentralized system for reporting fatalities, and there is no public database tracking deaths.