A massive winter storm that moved across the country is responsible for at least nine deaths as it knocked out power to millions of people. The storm spawned a tornado in North Carolina that killed three people, injured at least ten, and has left numerous people trapped in their homes.
Emergency crews braved the freezing weather to search for survivors.
"It's something like I have never seen before. A lot of destruction. It's going to be a long recovery process," Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said during a news conference.
The storm also knocked out power for more than four million people in Texas, leaving them struggling to stay warm as the temperatures dipped below freezing across the state. It was so cold that wind turbines froze, causing rolling blackouts as coal and gas plants struggled to keep up with record demand for electricity.
"The ability of some companies that generate the power has been frozen. This includes the natural gas & coal generators," Texas Governor Greg Abbott wrote on Twitter.
Several people died as they struggled to stay warm overnight as the temperature plummeted below zero in some areas. Officials in Houston said that a woman and a girl died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning after running their car inside an attached garage to stay warm. Authorities also found two men who died along the side of the road and are blaming the cold weather.
Residents will have to brace for more winter weather as another cold front is expected to bring freezing rain and subfreezing temperatures.
"Late tonight, an approaching low-pressure system will bring a period of dangerous and destructive freezing rain across the region," the National Weather Service said. "Even though some areas may thaw out briefly, the potential for refreeze will be high Wednesday night with another cold front bringing subfreezing temperatures back across the region."
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