Travis County’s winter storm death toll more than doubles since last DSHS update

Travis County

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In its latest update Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services increased the death toll from February’s winter storms to 210 people.

The agency moved the statewide death toll up from its May update of 151 as it “continues to reconcile information about causes of death.” Confirmed deaths happened from Feb. 11 to March 5, the agency said.

Deaths in Travis County more than doubled since the last update. DSHS says now 28 people died from causes related to the storm, up from 12. In Williamson County, deaths increased by one for a total of four deaths.

Harris County currently has the most deaths due to the storms at 43. Dallas County has 20 and Bexar County has 14, according to DSHS.

Winter storm deaths in the KXAN viewing area

  • Travis County – 28
  • Williamson County – 4
  • Burnet County – 1
  • Fayette County – 1
  • Lee County – 1
  • Milam County – 1
  • San Saba County – 1

DSHS says it tracks the deaths attributed to the storm three ways:

  • Medical certifiers submit a DSHS form specifying that a particular death was related to a disaster.
  • Medical certifiers flag a death record as disaster related.
  • DSHS epidemiologists match public reports of disaster-related deaths to death certificates.

Most of the deaths have been from hypothermia, DSHS says on its website, but deaths have also been from car crashes, carbon monoxide poisoning, exacerbation of chronic illness, falls and fires.

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