2 dead in Texas crash as millions in southern and central US brace for ice storm | CNN (2023)


ANDWintersturmThe triple threat of ice, sleet and snow Tuesday across parts of the southern and central U.S. prompted authorities to close roads and schools while urging people to avoid travel in hazardous conditions.

A woman walks her dog on a snow-covered sidewalk on Sunday, January 29, 2023 in Evanston, Illinois. Nam Y. Huh/AP More than 40 million people are under winter weather warnings from Texas to West Virginia, with significant freezing likely

More than 40 million people, from southeastern New Mexico to West Virginia, are under various forms of winter weather warnings, including warnings of dangerous ice formation, that are already making roads a nightmare, especially in Texas, where highways lie statewidethey were turned offwhile first responders swarm out to help motorists.

a human hasalready confirmed deadin a 10-car crash in south Austin, according to the Austin Fire Department. A second person was killed in Arlington, Texas when their vehicle rolled over, Arlington police said.

And northeast of the city, two people involved in a multi-vehicle collision along Highway 130 were taken to a local hospital with fatal injuries after sliding off the side of an overpass, according to Travis of Austin-County EMS.

One of the victims had exited the vehicle before it was hit and thrown off the bridge, Captain Darren Noak said, while the other saw a vehicle coming towards them and jumped off the bridge to avoid being hit.

FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES: Millions across the south and central US brace for an ice storm

In addition to the dangerous travel conditions, the National Weather Servicewarned in his predictionMonday that the ice storm would "cause tree damage and power outages in the hardest-hit regions."

Cities that have received ice storm warnings include Memphis, Tennessee and Little Rock, Arkansas, while several Texas cities including Dallas, San Antonio, San Angelo and Waco are under winter storm warnings.

Freezing rain is already being reported in the South Tuesday morning, with one-tenth to three-tenths of an inch ice pockets in parts of Arkansas, Texas and Kentucky since Monday.

Southwest's canceled flights are pictured at Dallas Love Field Airport in Dallas on Monday, January 30, 2023. Lola Gomez/AP Almost 1,000 Tuesday flights have already been canceled due to winter weather in the US.

The largest ice accumulation is forecast over much of Texas, which could reach one to three-quarters of an inch by Thursday morning. Quarter-inch ice is possible over a broader swath of the region, including southern Oklahoma, Arkansas, northwestern Mississippi and parts of Tennessee.

This is what awaits you throughout the day:

• Oklahoma City will see a brief layer of ice Tuesday morning, while the afternoon will bring significant ice to central Texas, central Arkansas and western Tennessee.

• Texas will experience widespread icing conditions, with the highest frequency likely to occur on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Drivers in Dallas, San Antonio and Austin must expect dangerous road conditions.

• Oklahoma City residents are monitoring winter weather through Wednesday afternoon and expect to see up to two-tenths of an inch of ice.

• Ice up to two tenths of an inch can also be seen in Louisville, Kentucky, while Charleston, West Virginia can see hail up to one inch and ice up to one tenth of an inch.

• The first freezing rain wave will weaken as it hits West Virginia in the late morning.

2 dead in Texas crash as millions in southern and central US brace for ice storm | CNN (3)

An icy mix covers 114 Freeway Monday in Roanoke, Texas.

Dangerous roads and canceled flights

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urged residents to stay home at a news conference Tuesday, saying about 1,600 highways in the Lone Star State were affected by the storm and would remain dangerous for the next 24 to 48 hours .

According to MedStar, a regional emergency agency, emergency responders in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have responded to at least 142 traffic accidents since Monday, including 16 rollovers. In Austin, firefighters have responded to at least 19 slippery road accidents since midnight, sources saidbloodearly tuesday.

A total of 14 state agencies are responding, with nearly 4,000 employees and more than 2,500 teams, the governor said. The Texas National Guard is on standby statewide to help stranded drivers, clear roads and conduct health checks, Abbott added, and Texas Parks and Wildlife has at least 30 first responders preparing for search and rescue operations.

Meanwhile, the Electric Reliability Board of Texas, or ERCOT for short, said it expects to "meet projected demand," a sign the utility, which supplies about 90% of the state's electricity, intends to avoid a repeat of the situation .massive power outagesmillions of people froze to death for days during a winter storm two years ago.

But the state's power grid "runs very efficiently," Abbott said at the news conference. As of 10 a.m., just 7,000 power outages had been reported across the country, according to the governor. ET.

2 dead in Texas crash as millions in southern and central US brace for ice storm | CNN (4)

Interstate 40 and Highway 70 are very icy and driving conditions extremely dangerous.

In Arkansas, the governor declared a state of emergency Monday and activated National Guard winter weather support teams to prepare to respond to the storm.

"In light of the winter, I encourage Arkansans to avoid travel where possible and heed the advice of local authorities," Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.said on Twitter.

The emergency executive order provides $250,000 for the discretionary use of the chief of the state's Department of Emergency Management to provide funds for program and administrative expenses, the executive order said.

"The real enemy will be this ice cream"this Dave Parker, spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Transportation. "It could be a very dangerous situation."

Most of the state is expected to be affected, and the state is treating most major highways, Parker added.

Winter conditions have also resulted in more than 1,000 flight cancellations inside, inside or outside the United States, including more than 400 flights from airports in Texas,according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

Ice cream is the main concern

The storm is expected to hit areas in the southern and central regions in waves through Wednesday.

And while the forecast shows there will be periods of easing over the next few days, roads are likely to be dangerously slippery during the storm as temperatures remain low.

According to the Fort Worth Weather Service Office, Tuesday is expected to be the toughest day to drive as bridges and highways freeze in Texas.

"More widespread ice showers/hail are expected Tuesday and Wednesday morning, with a worsening impact on travel during this period," the local weather agency said.

2 dead in Texas crash as millions in southern and central US brace for ice storm | CNN (5)

An icy mix covers 114 Freeway Monday in Roanoke, Texas.

Significant ice thickness of about half an inch is expected on freeways in Austin, San Angelo and Dallas. while San Antonio can see up to a tenth of an inch of ice.

Meanwhile, Texas' main electric utility, the Texas Electric Reliability Board, told CNN it will be able to meet residents' demand as temperatures drop.

“We expect sufficient generation to meet forecast demand and will continue to monitor forecasts this week. We are not currently claiming conservation. We are informing the public that IF... you are experiencing a power outage, please contact your local utility," the agency said in an email.

In Dyer County, Tennessee, freezing conditions prompted officials to close the Interstate 155 bridge, the government saidtraffic cop.

CNN's Chris Boyette, Tina Burnside, Joe Sutton and Raja Razek contributed to this report. CNN meteorologists Rob Shackelford and Derek Van Dam also contributed.

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