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Transmission towers support power lines above the frozen over Clear Fork of the Trinity River after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

More than 5 million people remained without power on Tuesday as a series of deadly winter storms brought snow to Houston and historically low temperatures across the plains states.

The latest: At least 20 people are reported dead, per AP, and snow, sleet and freezing rain pounded the Northeast, leaving icy damage in its wake. Temperatures throughout the middle portion of the U.S. fell to century-lows.

  • Among those to perish were four family members from the Houston area, who died in a house fire as they used a fireplace to stay warm, AP reports.
  • Oklahoma City saw -14 degree temperatures, while Fayetteville, Ark., experiencing a chilling -20.

The big picture: "More than 50 million people could see temperatures dip below zero during the next several days as the record-setting deep freeze envelops the country," the Washington Post reports.

  • Millions are without power in Texas and neighboring states.
  • A group of utilities across 14 states called for rolling outages because the supply of reserve energy had been exhausted, AP reports.
  • Nearly 3 million Texans lack power as of this afternoon.

Between the lines: The Gulf States are used to hurricanes, not polar vortexes. The entire state of Texas has been placed under a disaster declaration.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details, including the increased death toll.

Go deeper

2 dead and millions without power in Texas as winter storm sweeps U.S.

Workers clear snow from a parking lot in Midland, Texas, U.S, on Monday. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Texas city of Abilene has had all of its water services shut off, as a deadly winter storm continues to pummel the state.

The latest: Over 4 million people across Texas were without power early Tuesday, as most of the state faced single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chill, according to the national utility tracker poweroutage.us.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Feb 16, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The status and politics of the Texas power crisis

Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

More than 4.3 million Texas homes and businesses are without power as of Tuesday morning, per the tracking service poweroutage.us.

Why it matters: Bitter cold temperatures and winter storms are wreaking havoc on the power system in Texas and its refineries, and affecting other states too.

Updated Feb 16, 2021 - Science

In photos: Snow and ice blanket much of the U.S.

Vehicles and people traverse through snow and ice in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Over 150 million Americans are under winter storm warnings, as a subfreezing cold snap sweeps across the U.S., bringing with it heavy snow and dangerous, icy conditions.

The big picture: Hundreds of flights have been canceled and millions were without power across the U.S. Monday. Controlled outages were scheduled to take place in 14 central states to prevent uncontrolled cuts amid record freezing conditions. At least two people have died in Texas during the storm.