More Than 400,000 Texans Are Without Power After Dangerous Winter Storm Consumes Region

Trucks stopped on ice in TexasInternationalIndiaAfricaMary ManleyThe storm caused massive power outages and disruptions across highways and roads with central Texas stuck in thick ice since earlier this week. While the freezing temperatures and sleet should be gone by this weekend, they’ll move into the US Northeast with dangerous wind chills as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. A dangerous winter storm washed over Texas this week causing cars to slide off of highways or otherwise crash into each-other, and has led to a massive power outage for more than 425,000 customers in the Lone Star State as of Thursday. Repair for damaged lines could take until Friday evening, with temperatures in Houston expected to drop to a low of 39 degrees on Thursday night and 37 degrees on Friday night.“The prolonged and damaging ice storm that has impacted a large region from Texas to Tennessee is forecast to finally come to an end today as a final surge of moisture slides eastward,” the National Weather Service said. “Highs will return into the 40s and 50s by Friday, likely eliminating any icy concerns.”Across the state on Thursday afternoon, more than 425,000 customers in both businesses and homes in eastern and central Texas were left without power with 150,000 of those being served by Austin Energy. The company has warned customers that repairs could take until 6 p.m. local time on Friday. Meanwhile, schools and colleges and even the government have all had to close.

CNN reported that Arkansas and Tennessee were also impacted by the winter storm.Roads were slick with ice in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Driving conditions, which have already led to seven car-related deaths since Monday, are expected to worsen with freezing rain forecasted for Thursday afternoon. More than 250 flights leaving the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport were also canceled on Thursday.Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “Approximately 1,600 roads have been impacted. TxDOT has used 1.3 million gallons of brine and other material to treat the roadways.”

Austin Mayor Kirk Watson promised an update to the city’s emergency communications after city officials failed to warn the public about the storm and its subsequent power outages.The storm will make its way to New England and will bring with it the coldest wind chills seen in decades with some areas reaching 50 degrees below zero. Across the Northeast more than 15 million people will be placed under wind chill warnings or advisories beginning early Friday morning through the weekend. Thankfully, temperatures will rise again by Sunday afternoon.Extreme wind chills such as these could cause frostbite in as little as 10 minutes.“This is an epic, generational Arctic outbreak,” said the National Weather Service in Caribou, Maine. “The air mass descending on the area Friday into Friday night is the coldest air currently in the Northern Hemisphere.”“The wind chills are something northern and eastern Maine has not seen since similar outbreaks in 1982 and 1988,” the weather service added.The frigid temperatures are expected to thrash Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. They will also affect parts of northern New Jersey, northeast Pennsylvania and much of New York state, as well as New York City and Long Island. Temperatures for these areas are expected to plummet to 15 to 25 degrees below zero.

Northern New England and northern New York’s wind chills will make the winter air even more blisteringly cold, with temperatures dipping between 35 and 50 degrees below zero.“New Yorkers across the state will experience dangerously cold temperatures and life-threatening wind chills this weekend,” Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement Thursday.“Now is the time to prepare: plan to limit your time outdoors this weekend and know where to take shelter. Take all necessary precautions to ensure your residence is safely heated and use caution if you plan to use an alternative heat source, such as a space heater.”

“Avoid any outdoor activities on Friday and Saturday!” the New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced on social media. “Cold temperatures paired with the wind chill factor could lead to potentially life-threatening conditions outdoors.”

Boston will experience temperatures of 27 degrees below zero. The mayor, Michelle Wu, also declared a cold emergency for the city which will last from Friday until Sunday and urged residents to “take precautions, stay warm and safe, and check on your neighbors during this cold emergency.”


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