Millions struggle without power as cold snap grips US

In Pictures: Subfreezing cold sweeps through Texas

President Joe Biden granted a federal emergency declaration for all 254 counties in the state on Sunday.

As nightfall threatened to plummet temperatures again into single digits, officials warned that homes still without power would likely not have heat until tomorrow, as frustration mounted and the state's electric grid came under growing demand and criticism.

According to the National Weather Service, more than 150 million people across the country - a number that represents half of the USA population - are now under winter weather advisories, most of which will remain in effect well into Tuesday.

The worst US power outages were in Texas, affecting more than 4 million homes and businesses.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said the winter storm will move towards the northeast USA before "making a beeline for eastern Canada".

After a facility storing 8,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine in Houston lost power, health officials hurriedly worked to distribute it before it expired at the same time authorities were pleading for people to stay home.

"It feels wonderful. I'm very grateful", said Harry Golen, a college sophomore who waited for almost four hours with his friends, much of it in the cold.

In North Carolina, the National Weather Service's office in Wilmington dispatched a team to confirm that a tornado did indeed touch down and to survey damage in Brunswick County, said Mark Willis, the office's meteorologist in charge.


Three people died and 10 were injured when the tornado tore through a golf course community and another rural area just before midnight Monday, destroying dozens of homes.

"The sky lit up and there was a lot of pop-pop-popping" and thunder, she said. One parent died of the toxic fumes, pediatrician Phillip Scott told Fort Worth television station KTVT.

Police in Houston say a woman and child died of carbon monoxide poisoning after they sat in a vehicle running in their garage, and authorities in Sugar Land said a grandmother and three children trying to heat their home died in a fire.

Rolling outages also affected some northern Iowa counties, where overnight lows dipped to almost 30 below around Sioux City and wind chills to around 40 below in some places.

A man in Louisiana died when he hit his head after slipping on ice, and a 10-year-old Tennessee boy died after he and his six-year-old sister fell through the ice into a pond Sunday.

Several cities had record lows: In Minnesota, the Hibbing/Chisholm weather station registered minus 38 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, dropped to minus 26F. At midday, more than 2,700 USA flights had been canceled, led by more than 800 at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and more than 700 at Bush Intercontinental in Houston.

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