One dead in Texas as winter weather threatens 40 million

DALLAS (NewsNation) — Nearly 40 million Americans are under winter weather alerts across the country as severe cold and winter storms make their way through the South, killing at least one person in Texas.

More than 1,700 flights nationwide have been canceled. Traffic has been brought to a standstill on an interstate through Arkansas. And crashes have increased, including one that seriously injured two Texas law officers.

A significant ice storm continued across Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee Tuesday, leaving cities covered in ice. Additional ice amounts are still expected over the next 36 hours, which will mean more major impacts on roads and airports.

Numerous auto collisions were reported in Austin, Texas, with at least one fatality according to the Austin Fire Department.

More than 900 flights to or from major U.S. airport hub Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and more than 250 to or from Dallas Love Field were canceled or delayed Tuesday, according to the tracking service FlightAware. At Dallas-Fort Worth, more than 50% of Tuesday’s scheduled flights had been canceled by Tuesday afternoon.

The storm began Monday as part of an expected “several rounds” of wintry precipitation through Wednesday across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Chenard.

More than 1,000 flights were canceled and many more were delayed Monday as the states dealt with freezing temperatures and wintry precipitation.

Travel has been highly impacted across the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is expected to worsen.

Monday’s disruptions follow Southwest’s meltdown in December that began with a winter storm but continued after most other airlines had recovered. Southwest canceled about 16,700 flights over the last 10 days of the year, and the U.S. Transportation Department is investigating.

NewsNation’s meteorologist Gerard Jebaily said that the series of storms moving through the South will head toward the Northeast through Thursday.

Power outages are expected to remain moderate, as a good portion of the ice is in the form of sleet, which won’t stick to lines and trees, Jebaily said.

Beyond Texas, forecasters said ice could accumulate in neighboring Oklahoma and Arkansas and stretch east into the Deep South and Midwest this week. Schools and colleges in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas planned to close or go to virtual learning Tuesday.

A separate storm is expected to bring mountain snow and valley rain to the interior Southwest. Chilly air will promote snow showers around the Great Lakes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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