Hundreds of thousands of American citizens suffered in the state of Texas, due to the ice storm and frost wave that struck across the south of the United States of America, and despite the expectation of an improvement in the weather today, Thursday, this did not happen.
At the same time, meteorologists said that this time of year is normal to witness such weather in other American regions, including the upper Midwest and New England, according to a report by the American CBS network.
Power outages afflict Texas residents
In a related development, more than 400,000 Texas homes and businesses lost power early Thursday, as snow-packed trees fell on power lines, according to PowerOutage.us, a website that tracks utility reports.
More than 150,000 of those outages were in Austin, where city utilities warned residents who were without power that the lights and heat would not return until later in the day.
Pablo Vegas, who heads the Texas Electrical Reliability Board, vowed that the state’s electrical grid and natural gas supplies would return to normal, and there would be no repeat of the February 2021 blackouts when the grid was on the brink of total collapse.
School closures in Texas
School systems in Dallas and Austin, as well as many schools in Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee, planned to close Thursday as ranges of winter precipitation continue.
More than 700 flights scheduled for Thursday had already been canceled by Thursday morning and nearly 700 flights had been delayed, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.com. It came after thousands of cancellations and delays since the cold weather set in on Monday.
Winter weather watches and warnings were issued for an area stretching along the western Texas border with Mexico through Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana and into western Tennessee and northern Mississippi.
Eight people were killed in Texas due to the blizzard
The weather conditions have killed at least eight people on slick roads since Monday, including seven in Texas and one in Arkansas. Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott urged people not to drive.
On the other hand, CBS News weather producer David Parkinson said that “extreme and dangerous cold” will cover parts of both the Upper Midwest and New England on Friday and Saturday.
“Nearly 100 million Americans will start the day below 20 degrees on Friday and 140 million on Saturday,” he said, though he expected a “rapid rebound” with above-average mercury returning by the beginning of next week.
Parkinson said Hibbing, Minnesota will break a record with a low temperature of minus 32 degrees and wind chill 10-20 degrees colder than Friday.
Later in the day, high temperatures will only reach minus one degree in Burlington, Vermont, which is also a record. Parkinson noted that Saturday morning will bring temperatures as low as minus three in Boston, minus two in Providence and Rhode Island, and only six in New York. Parts of Maine and New Hampshire can shiver with wind chills of minus 60 degrees — or less.