Deaths continue to mount amid freezing temperatures across much of the US
4 January 2018
The death toll from cold-related fatalities continues to rise as below freezing temperatures persist across much of the United States. Freezing temperatures were reported Tuesday night in every state of the continental US Tuesday night.
At least three more lives have been claimed since Monday when the death toll stood at nine. The deep freeze reached even the deep south, forcing cities to open warming centers.
In Houston, Texas, police said two homeless people died from exposure to freezing cold temperatures. Tuesday night was Houston’s coldest of the season, reaching temperatures in the low 20s Fahrenheit.
A 75-year-old woman was found dead, along with her three dogs, in her home in Clemmons, North Carolina. Her home caught fire, and firefighters found her deceased while fighting the flames. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the elderly woman had various health issues and needed an oxygen tank.
In Hutchinson, Kansas, a family’s home was set ablaze after an attempt to thaw out frozen pipes with an open flame. The entire family was able to escape their home, but firefighters stated the cause of the fire is common when temperatures drop below freezing.
The rising number of deaths from cold at the beginning of this year has exposed the severity of the affordable housing crisis in the United States, the wealthiest country in the world.
As the market value of homes in the US reached a record high of $31.8 trillion by the end of 2017 the number of homeless people increased for the first time since the Great Recession, with more than 553,000 people recorded as homeless.
Economists point to rising home prices, economic growth, and a drop in national poverty levels to…