Speed Reads

weather emergency

Winter storm system leaves at least 15 people dead in Texas, North Carolina, and Tennessee

The winter storm system bringing freezing temperatures, snow, and ice to 15 different states has killed at least 15 people, CBS News reports.

In parts of Oklahoma and Texas, it hasn't been this cold in at least a century, and pipes are freezing and exploding. There are 3.5 million businesses and homes in Texas without power, and people are struggling to keep warm amid the frigid conditions.

Police in Houston say a woman and child died of carbon monoxide poisoning after they sat in a car running in their garage, and authorities in Sugar Land said a grandmother and three children trying to heat their home died in a fire. A homeless man in Houston also died due to exposure, and medical examiners in Galveston have reported several weather-related deaths.

A 10-year-old boy died near Millington, Tennessee, after he fell through ice, and late Monday night, a tornado spawned by the storm hit Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, leaving three dead and 10 injured. Resident Sharon Benson told CBS News she was shocked by the tornado, because forecasters "said it was going to rain. Not severe weather at all. No forewarning."