OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A deadly storm system battered swathes of the southern United States with sleet and snow for a third day on Wednesday, grounding another 2,200 flights and shutting hundreds of thousands of people. electricity, forcing schools to close and making already treacherous driving conditions sausage.
Watches and warnings were issued for winter conditions in West Texas, which borders Mexico, through Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, and stretches into western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. Forecasters said several rounds of mixed precipitation, including freezing rain and sleet, were expected in many areas throughout the day, meaning some places could be hit multiple times.
“The weather in Texas actually looks like it’s going to get worse again, with considerable areas of freezing rain already in west and southwest Texas,” said the National Weather Service in Camp Springs, Maryland. Chief forecaster Bob Olavik said.
The icy weather is expected to move northeastward, across parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas, into western Tennessee and northern Mississippi before starting to dissipate, Olavik said.
“By later in the day on Thursday, it should be pretty much done with all the … precipitation going downriver in parts of the south where it’s mostly heavy rain,” Oravec said.
According to flight tracking service FlightAware.com, 2,200 U.S. flights had been canceled as of late Wednesday morning, including three-quarters of flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and more than three-quarters at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. bis flight. Dallas-Forth Worth International is the largest hub for American Airlines and Love Field is the main base for Southwest Airlines.
Numerous flights were also canceled at other airports, including San Antonio in Austin, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee, adding to the frustration of nearly 2,000 cancellations on Tuesday and about 1,100 on Monday.
Detroit Pistons unable to fly home after Monday’s game against Dallas Mavericks due to storm, NBA postpones Pistons’ Wednesday night home game against the Washington Wizards.
Nearly 260,000 outages were reported in Texas, including more than 130,000 in Austin, according to PowerOutage, a website that tracks utility reports.
Pablo Vegas, chairman of the Texas Electric Reliability Council, has vowed that the state’s grid and natural gas supply will be reliable and there will be no repeat of the February 2021 outage, when the grid was on the verge of complete failure.
As ice and sleet blanketed Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis-Shelby County Schools announced it would cancel classes Wednesday due to freezing rain and dangerous road conditions. The school system serves approximately 100,000 students. The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis was also closed due to the weather.
Also in Memphis, cold weather postpones Tire Nichols funeral, who died after being brutally beaten by police officers during a traffic stop. But just before the funeral, more icy weather hit from the southwest, and it was postponed for several hours until Wednesday afternoon.
“The third and final round of freezing rain and/or sleet will begin this afternoon,” the Memphis office of the National Weather Service said in a tweet on Wednesday morning. Radar showed a front of the winter precipitation mix about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Memphis late Wednesday morning.
The Dallas School District, which serves about 145,000 students, also canceled classes on Wednesday.
Emergency crews rushed to Texas after hundreds of car crashes Tuesday, with the Republican governor. Greg Abbott urged people not to drive.At least six people have died on Texas slick roads since Mondayincluding three fatalities on Tuesday near Brownfield, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southwest of Lubbock.
Two Texas law enforcement officers were seriously injured, including a state trooper who was hit by a vehicle while investigating a crash on Interstate 45 southeast of Dallas, authorities said.
In Arkansas, the Republican governor. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency on Tuesday due to the cold weather. Her statement cited “probably many power lines being downed” and said road conditions were causing a backlog of deliveries for commercial drivers.
Martin reported from Atlanta. Associated Press writers David Koenig in Dallas; and Donna Warder in Washington, DC contributed to this report.
More AP weather coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/weather