Toll of harsh winter weather comes into focus as reported deaths climb sharply

By Nick Powell, Alejandro Serrano, Brooke A Lewis: For Complete Post, Click Here…

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Soon after Carrol Anderson lost power in his Crosby home earlier this week, his oxygen machine stopped working. He had asked his provider for more tanks the previous week but didn’t get any before harsh winter conditions set in. The 75-year old Vietnam War veteran turned to two small bottles of oxygen he had, but his supply quickly depleted.

With no firewood left and temperatures plummeting, Anderson turned to his last resort to breathe: A small portable oxygen tank he kept in his truck.

It was 19 degrees outside. He died in his truck Tuesday.

“He shouldn’t have had to die because he couldn’t breathe because we didn’t have power,” said Gloria Anderson, Carrol’s wife of 30 years, through tears in a telephone interview.

Anderson’s death was one of four deaths caused by hypothermia that Harris County authorities announced on Thursday. Two people, Jimmie Gloud and Mary Gee, died at their Houston homes. A man was also found dead early Thursday in a parking lot in the northern part of Harris County, a fatality also attributed to the cold weather.

As temperatures rose and the Houston region began to thaw after several days of sub-freezing temperatures, the number of reported local deaths related to cold weather doubled on Thursday, bringing the toll of the crisis into sharper focus.

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