Death toll climbs to 210 in February Texas cold snap

Death toll climbs to 210 in February Texas cold snap
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The death toll from the cold snap that swept Texas in February has risen to 210.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) issued the update on Tuesday announcing the grim number.

The majority of the deaths have been attributed to hypothermia, though other causes of death relating to the freeze include falls, fires, vehicular accidents and accidental poisoning from carbon monoxide as people tried to warm up after losing power.

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According to DSHS, the department receives notification of deaths through three main avenues: Medical certifiers who submit forms to the department, medical certifiers who flag a death as disaster-related or DSHS epidemiologists who match a public report of a disaster-related death to a death certificate.

The update stated that Texas's most populated county, Harris County, had the most deaths in the state related to the cold snap with 43, followed Travis County with 28 deaths and Dallas County with 20 deaths.

Texas's power grid, run by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), was largely unprepared for the wintry conditions leaving millions of households without power for several days at a time.

In March, the death toll from the winter storm rose to over 100, with state medical officials saying it could take months to get a fuller picture of the impact of the winter storm, adding that it was unlikely an accurate count of deaths will ever be found.

Shortly after the storm and the apparent failure of the state's electrical system, multiple member's of ERCOT's board, including its CEO Bill Magness, resigned. In June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) aimed to improve the operation and oversight of the state's power grid.