Jan 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Texas' official death toll from last year's winter storm rises to 246

Photo of a sign that says Texas with icicles hanging on the bottom

Icicles hang off the State Highway 195 sign on Feb. 18 in Killeen, Texas. Photo: Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Texas has added 36 more deaths to the official death toll from the winter storm that swept across the state in February, bringing the total number of lives lost to 246.

Why it matters: The storm left millions without power as people faced single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chill.

By the numbers: Officials attribute 161 deaths to injuries from extreme cold exposure such as hypothermia and frostbite, according to the report.

  • Twenty-five deaths resulted from "exacerbation of pre-existing illness," including disruptions to dialysis or oxygen treatment, loss of power to medical equipment and frozen medical devices or medication.
  • Hazardous road conditions contributed to 22 traffic fatalities.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning caused 19 deaths.
  • Fire-related injuries led to 10 deaths, including from space heaters placed near ignitable materials.
  • Nine deaths were caused by trauma or fractures from falling and slipping on ice, one of which resulted in drowning.
  • The victims ranged in age from under one to 102 years old.

Worth noting: Experts say it's impossible to track every death due to the storm's reach, the Texas Tribune notes.

  • A BuzzFeed analysis published in May estimated that 700 people died during the worst outages, hundreds more than the official count.
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