Millions of Americans are battling frigid temperatures in absence of electricity or heat. The deadly winter storm crashed power supplies even as authorities raced to restore power before another blast of snow and ice sowed more chaos in places least equipped to deal with it.
Nearly 3.4 million customers around the US. were still without electricity, and some also lost water service. Texas officials ordered 7 million people — a quarter of the population of the nation's second-largest state — to boil tap water before drinking it following days of record low temperatures that damaged infrastructure and froze pipes.
The worst US outages by far have been in Texas, where 3 million homes and businesses remained without power as of midday Wednesday. More than 200,000 additional customers were in the dark in four Appalachian states, and nearly that many in the Pacific Northwest, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utility outage reports.
The images coming out of Texas will make you shiver, literally. Icicles hanging from ceiling, ice coming out of water taps, frozen pools and ice sheets all around.
Take a look at some bone-chilling pictures:
While the people are facing intense cold wave, the system was forecast to move into the Northeast on Thursday. More than 100 million people live in areas covered by some type of winter weather warning, watch or advisory, the weather service said.
This week's extreme weather has been blamed for the deaths of more than 30 people, some of whom perished while struggling to keep warm inside their homes. In the Houston area, one family succumbed to carbon monoxide from car exhaust in their garage. Another family died while using a fireplace to keep warm.
Weather-related outages have been particularly stubborn in Oregon, where some customers have been without power for almost a week.