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State health department confirms 9 winter freeze-related deaths in Travis County

(Laura Figi/Austonia)

Last month's historic winter freeze that left thousands without electricity or water resulted in at least 111 deaths in Texas, the Department of State Health Services released on Thursday. Nine of the deaths have been traced to Travis County.


The department released a report of the number of deaths in each Texas County between Feb. 11 and March 5, but it is only preliminary as it continues to gather and update its data. This is the first confirmed number released to the public after the Travis County Medical Examiner said they were processing more than 80 deaths that occurred at the same time as the winter storm, which started Feb. 13.

The deaths have been confirmed after medical certifiers submitted information to DSHS and DSHS epidemiologists matched public reports to death certificates.

The most common cause of death related to the storm was hypothermia as many went without power for days in below-freezing temperatures. Other deaths included traffic accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning, medical equipment failure, exacerbation of chronic illness, lack of home oxygen, falls and fire.

A final incident report for Feb. 14-19 from Austin-Travis County EMS revealed it had 6,058 calls for service, including:

      • 187 environmental exposures
      • 519 falls
      • 115 traffic collisions with injures
      • 86 carbon monoxide poisonings

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