Local News

Leading Off (2/19/21)

The warming begins, just as we begin to assess the damage.

The Latest on the Storm. I’ll kick this off with a great story by Cassandra Jaramillo in the Dallas Morning News, which is as an intimate portrait of the residents who sought shelter and warmth in coach buses parked outside recreation centers and libraries. Zooming out, the storm is already suspected to be the most expensive in Texas history, which would mean it caused more than Hurricane Harvey’s $19 billion in insurance claims. Black and Brown Texans disproportionately live in neighborhoods with older homes and poor infrastructure, facing far more severe consequences of the historic winter storm. That their communities lack critical infrastructure like hospitals only added to their vulnerability, meaning they would be grouped in the communities that shouldered much of the electricity shed. Meanwhile, Texas officials knew that this was a likely risk if they didn’t winterize electricity-producing equipment. In Houston, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s idiotic Cancun trip also resulted in his poodle being left alone, cared for by a lone security guard parked outside his River Oaks home. If you have to drive, beware of cobblestone ice. That can happen when roads freeze and melt and re-freeze, combining with the pre-treatment and being packed together by vehicle tires.

Officers Stable After Being Shot in Old East Dallas. Officers were called to a home after receiving reports that a man was threatening his wife. The man opened fire upon their arrival, hitting two officers, one in the leg. Both are recovering. When SWAT breached the home, they found a man and a woman dead inside. Police Chief Eddie Garcia says officers had not returned fire.

The Warming Begins. This afternoon will finally be above freezing for the first time since last Saturday afternoon. Temperatures will continue to creep up this weekend, with highs at 48 tomorrow and 53 on Sunday. It’s probably not the best idea to drive today, but officials believe the conditions will ease later this weekend.

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