The death toll from the historic winter storm sweeping across large swaths of the US has increased to at least 21 – as over 3 million people in Texas remain without power, including 1.4 million in the Houston metropolitan area, according to reports.
In addition to the Lone Star state, the brutal storm claimed lives in Louisiana, Kentucky and Missouri, shuttered COVID-19 inoculation centers and hindered vaccine supplies.
No relief is expected until the weekend, officials said.
Four people were killed in a house fire in Sugar Land, Texas, where the power was out, according to police and local media.
In South Austin, hundreds of residents waited in a seemingly endless line that stretched down Congress Avenue to buy supplies at a newly reopened H-E-B, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
A boy plays in the snow amid the Texas winter storm on Feb. 16, 2021.Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP
“We knew a week in advance this storm was