Winter Storm Slams Into Texas, Knocking Out Power for Over 200,000

Hundreds of flights have been canceled across the country as communities struggle with icy roads, outages, and freezing temperatures.

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A driver slowly navigates through icy road conditions on the US 75 highway and LBJ 635 interchange Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in Dallas.
A driver slowly navigates through icy road conditions on the US 75 highway and LBJ 635 interchange Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in Dallas.
Photo: Tony Gutierrez (AP)

An Arctic front has frozen much of Central Texas, and it’ll probably linger there for another day.

Parts of central, north, and west Texas are under ice storm warnings, according to the National Weather Service Prediction Center. Parts of nearby Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi are under ice storm warnings, too.

A vehicle rests on a barricade after the driver lost control and slid off Highway 6 on Tuesday Jan. 31, 2023 in Waco, Texas. Winter weather brought ice to Texas and nearby states Tuesday.
A vehicle rests on a barricade after the driver lost control and slid off Highway 6 on Tuesday Jan. 31, 2023 in Waco, Texas. Winter weather brought ice to Texas and nearby states Tuesday.
Photo: Jerry Larson/Waco Tribune-Herald (AP)
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The Fort Worth area is expected to see dangerous travel conditions until this Thursday, according to the city’s National Weather Service station. The perilous conditions began earlier this week. “Light freezing rain is going on across areas north and west of the Metroplex. We really cannot emphasize this enough: DO NOT BE ON THE ROADS. They are going to virtually be impassable through today and tonight,” the NWS Fort Worth Twitter account warned on Wednesday.

Nearly 300,000 customers out of 13 million are without power, according to Poweroutage.us. As of early Tuesday, more than 1,700 flights nationwide were canceled due to the conditions, the Associated Press reported. About 900 flights to or from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport have been canceled.

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Flight information is displayed at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on January 31, 2023 in Austin, Texas. Many flights have been delayed and cancelled due to a winter storm passing through portions of Texas.
Flight information is displayed at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on January 31, 2023 in Austin, Texas. Many flights have been delayed and cancelled due to a winter storm passing through portions of Texas.
Photo: Brandon Bell (Getty Images)

One video posted to Twitter by a Texas resident shows trees bowing and cracking under the weight of the ice on the branches. Somewhere in the distance, a branch cracks and falls off of a tree.

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Unaccustomed to the wintry weather, Texas residents have also struggled with commuting in the snow.

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Texas was one of several states hit by a polar vortex in late December that brought single-digit temperatures to much of the U.S. And a 2021 polar vortex put took out the state’s power grid, leaving millions without electricity or water.

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It’s difficult to pin any single weather event to climate change, but these cold winter blasts are becoming more likely to happen farther south, as a warming the Arctic can make these air circulation breakdowns more frequent.