DALLAS — A total of 22 Dallas County residents and 11 Tarrant County residents died during February 2021's deadly winter storm, according to the sixth and final report on the storm released late on New Year's Eve by The Texas Department of State Health Services. In total, the state added 36 more deaths to the report for a total of 246 people.
Those numbers are increased from the last report released in July, up from 20 in Dallas County and nine in Tarrant County.
In addition, this report found that one person died in Wise County. That number was not previously reported in the July report. All other prior numbers for North Texas counties stayed the same: Two people died in Collin County, two died in Ellis County, one person died in Kaufman County and one person died in Parker County.
The most deaths officially tallied were in Harris County at 43, Travis County at 28 and then Dallas County at 22, according to the report.
The report identified and analyzed deaths that were indirectly, directly, or possibly attributable to the storm, DSHS wrote. The 246 dead ranged in age from less than a year old to 102 years old, according to the report. 161 (65.4%) of the winter storm-related deaths were extreme cold exposure-related injuries, 158 of which were from hypothermia and three of which were from frostbite, the report said.
During February's major winter storms, millions of Texans lost power for days and the state's energy grid came within minutes of total collapse. That led to other problems, like boil water notices and food scarcity at grocery stores.
This news comes as North Texas is expected to experience its first freeze of both the season and the new year, a temperature shift that many are seeing as a test run for the state's electricity grid after last February. Earlier last December, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas – or ERCOT – announced that they’d completed on-site inspections of 302 electric generation units and 22 transmission station facilities. Efforts are now underway to ensure that important parts of the natural gas supply chain are listed as critical infrastructure so the power stays on.