US needs to brace itself for more deadly weather, experts say

US needs to brace itself for more deadly storms, experts say
People line up to collect firewood from a wood heap opened to the public Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Dallas. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: Deadly weather will be hitting the US more often, and the country had better get better at dealing with it, experts said Wednesday as the state of Texas and other states battled winter storms that blew past the worst-case planning of utilities, governments and millions of shivering citizens.

This week’s storms — with more still heading east — fit a pattern of worsening extremes under climate change and demonstrate anew that federal, state and local officials have failed to do nearly enough to prepare for greater and more dangerous weather.

This week, at least two dozen people have died, including from fire or carbon monoxide poisoning while struggling to find warmth inside their homes.

An Arctic blast plunged temperatures in Oklahoma’s capital as low as 14 degrees below 0 (-25 Celsius).

“This is a different kind of storm,″ said Kendra Clements, one of several businesspeople in Oklahoma City who opened their buildings to shelter homeless people, some with hypothermia, frostbite and icicles in their hair.

It was also a harbinger of what governments and social service providers say will be a surge of increased needs for society’s most vulnerable as weather and natural disasters worsen.

Other Americans are at risk as well, experts say. All sorts of power supplies failed in the extreme cold, including natural gas-fired power plants that were knocked offline amid icy conditions and, to a smaller extent, wind turbines that froze and stopped working.

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