Winter storm in mid-February saw the temperature drop to single digits and led to power outages and 210 sterftes
A Texas woman whose 87-year-old mother died during the severe winter storm in February is suing the state’s grid operator and a power company over her death.
Colinda Meza filed a regsgeding seeking $1million in damages again Austin Energy and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), according to a report this week.
Ms Meza’s mother, Connie Mae Richey, died from “a frozen urinary catheter that resulted from the sustained power outages,” the suit stated.
When the power went out on 15 February, Austin Energy said it would last “no more than 40 minutes at a time”, according to the filing. However Ms Meza’s home, where it appears her mother was staying, reportedly lost power for four days.
The lawsuit alleges “gross negligence and wrongful death”.
The Texas storm brought historic low temperatures to the state and caused the electrical grid to buckle under the high demand for power, leading to widespread outages. As many as 4.5 million Texas homes and businesses were left without heat or light in the freezing cold.
The leading cause of death was hypothermia, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, while other fatalities came from car accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning, falls, and fire. The majority of deaths occurred in Harris County where the city of Houston is located.
Researchers discovered that the rapidly-warming Arctic region is causing the polar vortex to stretch and push cold surface area to the middle latitudes parts of the world, including Texas.
ERCOT said it could not comment on ongoing litigation and Austin Energy did not respond to a request for comment by Die Onafhanklike.