Texas has been under siege from a massive ice storm since Monday. The weather system has unleashed multiple rounds of icy precipitation for four days. The icy winter mix has coated power lines, resulting in power outages for over 171,000 Austin Energy customers and 400,000 customers across the state. The power company confirmed in a statement, “These outages are due to severe weather, they are not related to a statewide grid incident.”
This sleet, ice, and freezing rain system stretch from West Texas to Tennessee and even some parts of Kentucky. Affected areas face canceled flights, slick roads, downed trees, and power outages. At least eight people have died in this storm, including traffic accident fatalities.
The situation on the roads is dangerous, with authorities warning against driving due to slick roads. The skies are also disrupted, with 75% of flights canceled at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and two-thirds at Dallas Love Field Airport on Wednesday. At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, over half of the flights were also canceled.
However, the National Weather Service predicts that relief will arrive late Thursday. The epic ice storm is expected to end today, with a system tracking near the Gulf Coast clearing the frozen mess while producing heavy rain and severe thunderstorms for the Gulf Coast states.
Meanwhile, a glancing shot of arctic air will sweep through the Northeastern United States, producing dangerous wind chills through Saturday. The winter storm has been a reminder of the dangers and disruptions that severe winter weather can bring. The community is encouraged to stay safe and be prepared during such events.
Officials urge residents to stay off the roads, avoid non-essential travel, and check on neighbors, especially the elderly and those with disabilities. People should also take precautions to keep warm and have backup plans in case of power outages. With relief on the horizon, the community can come together to help those affected by the storm and begin the process of recovery.