.Many of the deaths reported in Texas are of people trying to stay warm during a record cold spell.
Queue for Propane in Houston
© AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Residents of Houston had to wait over an hour in the freezing rain to fill their propane tanks on Wednesday
ACROSS AMERICA — The death toll continues to climb from the historic freeze that has ravaged Texas and many other Southern states, with news outlets reporting as many as 35 deaths across multiple states in connection with the cold and widespread power outages.

Most of the deaths reported as of Thursday morning have come in Texas, where millions of residents lost power this week due to a failure in the state's power grid system; just under 500,000 homes and businesses remained without power as of Thursday. Deaths from the freezing weather this week have also been reported in Louisiana, Kentucky, North Carolina and Missouri, according to several news reports.

Reported deaths from the Southern winter freeze as of Thursday range from 21 to 35, as media outlets have varied on the totals as they come in. The high-end number was reported by the Columbus Telegram, a newspaper based in Nebraska.

Many of the Texas deaths are a result of people trying to stay warm. Temperatures in the state were in the single digits earlier this week, and in many areas only reached 32 degrees on Thursday.

A grandmother and three young children were found dead in a house fire early Monday in Sugar Land, KHOU and others have reported. The family was using its fireplace to keep warm during the power outage, according to the reports.

In Houston, a woman and an 8-year-old girl died of carbon monoxide poisoning while leaving a car running for heat, Fox 26 Houston and others have reported. A man and a 7-year-old boy survived the incident, but the boy remained hospitalized in critical condition, according to the Fox report.

Another family of six in Harris County had been hospitalized Monday night due to carbon monoxide poisoning from using a charcoal grill to heat their apartment, Fox reported.

The Houston area saw at least two similar incidents later in the week, according to ABC-13. Six children and four adults were hospitalized in the two separate incidents, both involving people using barbecue grills inside their homes to stay warm.

Officials have long warned people about using household devices such as ovens and stovetops for heat. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is high, and the devices are not designed for space heating.

The cold has directly accounted for other deaths in the Texas deep freeze. In Bexar County, a 78-year-old man was found dead outside his home earlier this week in what officials say was exposure to the cold, KSAT reported.

Two men who were found along Houston-area highways are also believed to have been killed by the cold.

Three more cold-related deaths were confirmed in Galveston County on Thursday, according to ABC-13, with five other deaths in the county suspected to have been a result of the cold.

Indications are that the death toll in eastern Texas specifically could rise, as the cold weather is expected to extend into the weekend.

The medical examiner's office in Galveston County has requested a refrigerated truck to accommodate the surge of cold-related deaths expected there, according to ABC-13.