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Medical examiner investigating whether 17 Dallas-area deaths are linked to winter storm

Medical examiner investigating whether 17 Dallas-area deaths are linked to winter storm
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The Dallas County medical examiner’s office said Tuesday it will be investigating whether 17 area deaths are linked to the winter storms that overtook Texas last week.

As The Dallas Morning News reports, the medical examiner’s office stated it will take two to three months to determine the causes of death. Details on the fatalities have not yet been released.

The winter weather has been blamed for around 40 deaths in Texas, the Morning News reports, though it is unclear how many of those were in the Dallas area.

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At least three men are suspected to have died due to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to authorities.

All three men were under the age of 50 and were found dead inside their homes. When police arrived at the home of 34-year old Lorenzo Charles Washington III, extremely high carbon monoxide readings were found.

Many Texans turned to sitting in their running cars or near generators in order to stay warm.

Millions of Texas households were left without power for much of last week after freezing temperatures incapacitated the state's power grid. President BidenJoe BidenHouse panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Democrats to offer bill to expand Supreme Court Former Israeli prime minister advises Iran to 'cool down' amid nuclear threats MORE approved a major disaster declaration, allowing for more federal resources to be sent to the state.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Texas's main power grid operator, has faced increased scrutiny in light of the widespread power outages, leading four board members to resign.

State lawmakers have also faced backlash, with critics lambasting Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzAnti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week Biden's DOJ civil rights nominee faces sharp GOP criticism MORE (R-Texas) and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for traveling out-of-state as Texans struggled with lack of power and clean running water.

Judge Clay Jenkins, the chief executive of Dallas County, told MSNBC last week that he had not heard from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, but had received a phone call from Biden.