A winter storm crisis in Texas could have catastrophic effects throughout the entire American Midwest, and may boost the cost of heating homes throughout the country’s heartland, including southern Illinois.

In an email sent from Grayville City Hall to the city’s municipal gas customers, it was announced that a winter storm has knocked out power throughout the state, leading to nature gas processing plants losing power. Residents of the city are being asked to keep their thermostats set below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, with warnings that natural gas prices could jump be as much as 100–300 times higher due to the crisis. This could lead to gas bills rising to far beyond what some customers are able to pay, according to the email.

It is impossible at this point to determine where the future gas production losses will occur,” the email states. “Without your help, future natural gas bills will be more than most residents will be able to afford.”

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