An unusually severe winter storm in Texas has left more than 2 million customers without power in the state amid dangerously low temperatures.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Saturday that Texas “faces a very dangerous winter storm” in the coming days that will “make movement nearly impossible.”
He called the storm “unprecedented” in the history of the state.
Rotary power outages was initiated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT early Monday morning, meaning thousands went without electricity for short periods as temperatures dropped in teens near Dallas and the 20s (about minus 5 degrees Celsius) around Houston.
Kent and Brazo counties, on opposite sides of the state, were hardest hit with almost all customers losing power, according to an online power outage tracker.
“The power grid continues to lose production,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told residents Twitter. “If you are without power, you can be without power all day. Do your best to stay warm. Check out our seniors.”
Temperatures dropped below 0 in some Texas cities on Monday. Amarillo reported a temperature of -8, while Midland reported a temperature of 0, and Lubbock reported a temperature of 1 according to WeatherWX.com.
President Biden also declared an emergency in Texas in a statement Sunday night. The declaration aims to add federal support to state and local action efforts.
More than 760 flights were canceled at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and at Dallas Love Field, most of the nearly 200 flights to Southwest Airlines, the airport’s largest carrier, were canceled on Sunday.
American Airlines said about 345 of its flights were canceled at DFW Airport, its hub, early Sunday afternoon. The carrier said the storm also affected its flights across the region, with operations reduced and canceled at airports across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The current storm system formed Friday night and stretched across much of the Ohio Valley and Appalachians into the northeast. Texas issued a winter storm warning for the entire weekend and early part of the week.
“Maximum preparation for cold weather MUST be completed today,” Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist in the Harris County Flood Control District, tweeted Sunday morning. “Time is running out and conditions are rapidly deteriorating in the late afternoon and evening.”
Road safety will be a top priority after Fort Worth saw a pileup last week involving over 130 vehicles, including 18-wheelers and passenger cars, resulting in six deaths and dozens of injuries.
In El Paso, a 15-car pileup served Sunday morning as a warning to anyone wishing to travel, but fortunately no deaths were reported from Sunday, KFOX14 reported.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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