A deadly winter storm continued to sweep across portions of the Southern Plains and the Southeast on Wednesday, prompting widespread power outages in Texas and disrupting travel.
By 3 p.m. Eastern time, more than 324,000 customers in Texas were without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us, which aggregates data from utilities across the country.
More than 3,200 flights within, into, or out of the United States had been canceled as of early Wednesday, according to FlightAware, a flight-tracking company. Most of the cancellations were reported in Texas, including more than 1,000 flights at airports in Dallas and Austin.
At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, eight of 15 security checkpoints were closed, with the airport saying its Transportation Security Administration operations were “limited.”
At least two deaths in Texas have been attributed to the storm, which began on Monday and was not expected to ease on Wednesday. One final surge of moisture was forecast to overrun the subfreezing air, leading to more icy conditions from Texas through the majority of the Southeast, the National Weather Service said.
In Memphis, the winter weather delayed the start of the funeral for Tyre Nichols, the Black man who died last month after being beaten by police officers. Originally scheduled for Wednesday morning, the funeral, which Vice President Kamala Harris is set to attend, will now begin in the afternoon.
Additional ice accumulations of up to half an inch were expected across central and north-central Texas and southern Arkansas, the Weather Service said. Lesser ice accumulations were predicted to hit other areas in Arkansas as well as parts of Oklahoma and Tennessee.
“This amount of ice accretion on top of what has already fallen is likely to lead to more treacherous travel across untreated roadways, along with the potential for tree damage and power outages,” meteorologists said.
Hunter Reeves, a Weather Service meteorologist, said that another round of freezing rain was moving through the North Texas area on Wednesday afternoon.
“This is definitely the most impactful round,” Mr. Reeves said. “It’s not a good idea to be out on the roads right now.”
With temperatures below freezing, any accumulations that melted on Wednesday were expected to refreeze overnight, bringing back icy conditions on roadways, Mr. Reeves said. Some melting on roadways was possible on Thursday, but Mr. Reeves said that road conditions would mostly improve on Friday, when temperatures are expected to climb into the 40s.
In parts of North Texas, enough ice had accumulated for Ashley Cain, an Olympian figure skater, to take to streets on her ice skates. Ms. Cain posted a video of herself on Instagram that captured her twirling on ice-covered street in Dallas.
At a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said that local outages were expected because of icing on power lines. “The power grid is functioning just fine as we speak,” he said, and warned that driving conditions in parts of the state were “extremely dangerous.”
Austin Energy said in an update on Wednesday that because its crews were driving on icy roads and “working with frozen equipment,” some customers could be without power for up to 24 hours.
In February 2021, a winter storm pushed the power grid in Texas to the brink of collapse and led to the deaths of more than 200 people. Millions of residents were forced to boil water, use generators, huddle in idling cars for heat and scour for wood to feed fires during some of the most frigid weather in state history.
On Tuesday, the police in Arlington, Texas, said on Facebook that one person had died in a rollover accident on Interstate 20. The conditions also led to one fatality in a crash that involved 10 vehicles, according to the Austin Fire Department. In Travis County, a deputy was struck by an 18-wheel truck and was pinned beneath one its tires after attempting to help a disabled truck on the highway. He is expected to survive.
Citing the weather conditions, schools in both Dallas and Austin said they would be closed on Wednesday, as did the Dallas Zoo. After a game against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, the Detroit Pistons were stranded, unable to fly back to Detroit because of the weather, the N.B.A. said, adding that a game scheduled for Wednesday night between the Pistons and the Washington Wizards had been postponed.
In Arkansas, where Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency earlier this week, another round of wintry precipitation and freezing rain was forecast through Thursday morning. Officials across the state repeatedly asked drivers to stay off the roads if they could. Similar messages about driver safety were issued by the authorities in Oklahoma and Tennessee.
This winter has brought a mixed bag of weather to large swaths of the South. Last week, a tornado tore through communities southeast of Houston, destroying a senior assisted-living center and causing other damage. In Louisiana, three people were hospitalized with injuries after storms damaged mobile homes northwest of Baton Rouge. Earlier this month, at least eight people were killed after a string of severe storms and tornadoes roared through Alabama and Georgia.
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