Texas snowstorm death toll was almost double the original reports — and could be even higher: officials

Texas snowstorm death toll was almost double the original reports — and could be even higher: officials
Greg Abbott speaking at the WTTC Global Summit 2016, World Travel and Tourism Council

On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that officials have doubled their estimate of the death toll for the freak snowstorm that paralyzed the state of Texas in February — and that even more could be reported as the investigation continues.

"The Texas Department of State Health Services said that the number of deaths, initially 57, was in actuality 111 and is still expected to rise as state investigators continue their work," reported Blake Montgomery. "The majority of the fatalities were from hypothermia, but lack of access to medical care, traffic accidents, and fires also played a part. Carbon monoxide poisoning, often caused by sitting in a car in a closed garage, was also a culprit."

According to Dallas County chief medical examiner Jeffrey Barnard, "We'll probably never have a really accurate number."

The storm swept across much of the country, but was particularly disastrous in Texas, which has an independent power grid that had not been properly winterized. Millions across the state lost power and water, and some were left burning their furniture to stay warm.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has come under heavy criticism for falsely suggesting wind and solar failures were a significant factor in the power failures. He has pledged reforms to ERCOT, the organization that manages the state's grid.

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