Texans on skates and sleds (and airboats!) make the best of icy conditions after winter storms
A day after a Texans made the most of a mess of ice, sleet and snow lingering across much of the southern US as thousands in endured freezing temperatures with no power, a bitter chill is headed for the northeast.
More than 400,000 customers in Texas still lacked power mid-day Thursday, according to PowerOutage, a website tracking utility reports.
The power loss and the deep freeze did inspire some more traditional winter weather hijinks, as a young girl went viral for putting on some Olympic-level figure skating moves in the Texas winter, while a man took his airboat out for a spin in the wild weather.
Another video saw a dog struggle to make his way down a street with the ice impeding his walking. A young girl from Denton found a way to avoid walking as she slid down the street on a cookie sheet.
It wasn’t all fun and games, however, as a man has trouble stopping his Jeep from crashing into another vehicle as he navigated an icy parking lot in the capital city of Austin.
The power loss and the deep freeze did inspire some more traditional winter weather hijinks, as a young girl went viral for putting on some Olympic-level figure skating moves in the Texas winter, while a man took his airboat out for a spin in the wild weather
The Arctic cold front is expected to move from Canada into the northern Plains and Upper Midwest and sweep into the Northeast by Friday, bringing snow and bitter cold with windchills of more than minus 50 in northern New England, according to the National Weather Service.
Frustration mounted in Austin, where more than 150,000 residents remained without power early Thursday, more than 24 hours after their electricity and heat went out.
For many, it was the second time in three years that a February freeze caused prolonged outages and uncertainty over when the lights would come back on.
Unlike the 2021 blackouts in Texas, when hundreds of people died after the state´s grid was pushed to the brink of total failure because of a lack of generation, the wide outages in Austin this time were largely the result of frozen equipment and trees falling on power lines.
The city´s utility warned that all power may not be restored until Friday.
Pablo Vegas, who heads the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, vowed that the state’s electrical grid and natural gas supply would be reliable and that there wouldn’t be a repeat of the February 2021 blackouts.
School systems in the Dallas and Austin area, plus many in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee, closed Thursday as snow, sleet and freezing rain continued to push through.
More than 700 flights scheduled for Thursday were canceled, according to the flight tracking service FlightAware.com after thousands had been canceled since Monday.
Watches and warnings about wintry conditions stretched from the West Texas border with Mexico through Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana and into western Tennessee and northern Mississippi.
Icicles hang from the Angelina Eberly statue in downtown Austin, Texas, during a winter storm on Wednesday
A fallen tree blocks part of Rockingham Drive in Austin, Texas
Kelsey Vining of Richardson, Texas gets a push from Court Vining as she sleds down an icy sidewalk with dogs Mr. Riggins, left, and Gertie
Dallas and other parts of North Texas are under a winter storm warning through Thursday
The Texas man decided to take his airboat for a spin along the icy roads of Princeton, Texas
The Arctic cold front is expected to move from Canada into the northern Plains and Upper Midwest and sweep into the Northeast by Friday, bringing snow and bitter cold with windchills of more than minus 50 in northern New England, according to the National Weather Service
The treacherous driving conditions resulted in at least nine deaths on slick roads since Monday, including seven in Texas and one each in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urged people not to drive.
The latest fatality occurred late Wednesday on Interstate 40 in western Oklahoma when a semitrailer overturned and vehicles behind it, including several other rigs, ‘cascaded’ in separate collisions on the icy road, according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Foster.
Eastbound lanes were closed for more than five hours following the crashes, Foster said.
Public transportation in Dallas is also experiencing ‘major delays,’ according to a statement from Dallas Area Rapid Transit. The system serves about 220,000 riders daily in 13 cities within the Dallas metro with a network of streetcars, light rail, buses and vans, according to its website.
The cold weather was headed for the northeast Thursday for a historic deep freeze, with wind chills expected to plunge to the equivalent of -50 degrees Fahrenheit in some spots, while freezing rain in the South left thousands without power and turned roadways into ice rinks.
A Target shopping cart sits abandoned on the road beside a downed tree near the closed department store after freezing rain blasted through Central Texas
A cactus is covered in ice after freezing rain blasted through Central Texas with as much as an inch of ice overnight
A plane with Southwest Airlines sits at one of the terminals at Dallas Love Field Airport. Thousands of flights have been canceled since Monday
A young girl from Denton found a way to avoid walking as she slid down the street on a cookie sheet
Dangerous wind chills were likely in an area stretching from northern Pennsylvania to Maine starting early on Friday and through Saturday evening, the National Weather Service said in its forecast.
‘The wind chills have the potential to be once-in-a- generation cold,’ the weather service said, urging people to either stay indoors or take precautions against frostbite and hypothermia. The wind chill factor describes the combined effect of wind and cold temperatures on exposed skin.
In New Hampshire’s Mount Washington State Park, atop the Northeast’s highest peak, record-breaking wind chills of -110 degrees and wind speeds topping 100 miles per hour were expected.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu declared a cold emergency for New England’s biggest city for Friday through Sunday, as the city is expecting below-zero wind chills starting Friday. Boston has opened warming centers so people can get out of the cold.
‘I urge all Boston residents to take precautions, stay warm and safe, and check on your neighbors during this cold emergency,’ Wu said in a statement.
The cold blast and ice storms come as the celebrated groundhog known as Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Thursday, by tradition a sign of six more weeks of frosty weather in North America.