WV and National Disaster News - February 18, 2021


West Virginia
·         West Virginia braces for another winter storm (MetroNews)
COVID-19 News
Vaccine News
International COVID News
·         COVID infections drop 16% worldwide in one week: WHO (UN News Release)
The Associated Press reports this week’s storms fit a pattern of worsening extremes under climate change and demonstrate once again that local, state and federal officials have failed to do nearly enough to prepare for greater and more dangerous weather. The article says the crisis sounded an alarm for power systems throughout the country: As climate change worsens, severe conditions that go beyond historical norms are becoming ever more common. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday, “Building resilient and sustainable infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather and a changing climate will play an integral role” in creating jobs and meeting Biden’s goal of “a net-zero emissions future.”
CNN reports Texas lawmakers say the power grid was just minutes from failing on Monday before officials from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas initiated emergency rolling outages. Rep. Marc Veasey said, "I want people to know that we were minutes away from the entire grid crashing," Vessey criticized ERCOT and Republican leaders for not better preparing for the freeze. Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that he has spoken with both the lieutenant governor and the state House speaker, and that an investigation of ERCOT is slated to begin next week.
Fox News reports some experts believe the Texas blackouts are symptomatic of a bigger problem with energy policies and that these types of outages could become a nationwide reality. This storm has caused over 150,000 outages in Oregon, Kentucky had over 100,000 outages, Louisiana had over 70,000 outages and West Virginia had nearly 50,000 outages and more outages are expected. The Washington Post reports after a 2011 arctic storm in Texas, a federal government report noted deficiencies across energy sources in the state and recommended more adequate winterization procedures for the infrastructure.
More than 100 million Americans are in the path of Winter Storm Viola as it tracks from the southern Plains to the East Coast over the next few days. The Weather Channel reports at least 30 people have died in weather-related incidents this week and the deaths are just one part of the disaster unfolding in several states, especially Texas, where millions of residents faced another night without power or water

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West Virginia braces for another winter storm; Pregnancy tied to estimated 70% higher COVID-19 rate;