Texas county braces for deaths from winter weather and asks for truck to hold bodies

Chacour Koop
·2 min read

A Texas county is bracing for an influx of deaths from a historic winter storm and asking for a refrigerated truck to hold bodies, news outlets report.

The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office is preparing for a significant increase in deaths from the frigid weather, which has caused power outages across the state, KPRC reported. The additional space to store bodies will be necessary as funeral homes in the three-county area served by the medical examiner’s office have lost electricity, the Houston TV station reported.

“That number is going to climb as we have the ability to do more welfare checks and check on people who’ve been trapped and without power for the last 48 to 50 hours,” Galveston County Judge Mark Henry told KPRC.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s energy grid, has struggled to maintain supply to millions of residents as historic cold grips much of the country. The council has asked power companies to implement rotating blackouts to prevent the system from failing.

Temperatures dipped to 20 degrees and snow covered the beaches of the county located south of Houston along the Gulf of Mexico.

Galveston County has experienced “prolonged power outages,” officials say. Henry said Tuesday morning power outages in the county had lasted for as long as 48 hours.

“We were notified of an emergency request about lunchtime today that the medical examiner needed a capacity of at least 20 and maybe as many as 50, in addition to the normal storage,” Henry told KTRK.

An official told the Galveston County Daily News the cause of deaths prompting the request for a refrigerated truck remained unclear, but the people presumably died in the past 36 hours as brutal cold and power outages lingered on.

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