Thousands of frustrated Texans shivered in their dark homes for a second day on Thursday, most of them in and around the growing city of Austin. As hopes of a quick fix faded, people were reminded of a deadly blackout that happened in the south in 2021 after an icy winter storm.
This week, at least 10 people have died in car accidents on icy roads in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Even though Texas finally started to warm up on Thursday, a new Arctic front from Canada was moving toward the northern U.S. and could bring the coldest weather to New England in decades. The wind chill could drop below -50. (minus 45 Celsius).
In Austin, city officials compared the damage caused by downed trees and iced-over power lines to that caused by tornadoes. This was because they were getting more and more criticism for making repairs slowly and changing when the power would be back on.
“We had hoped to make more progress today,“ said Jackie Sargent, general manager of Austin Energy. ”And that simply has not happened.”
PowerOutage.us says that more than 280,000 people in Texas were without power on Thursday night. This was down from 430,000 earlier in the day. Most people were affected in Austin, where 150,000 customers were getting antsy almost two days after the power went out for the first time, leaving many without heat. Since Wednesday, about 30% of the nearly one million people who live in the city have been without power at any given time.
As of Thursday night, officials in Austin had recanted their earlier predictions that power would be fully restored by Friday evening. They explained that the scale of the damage was greater than they had initially estimated, and that they were unable to estimate when all of the lights might be turned back on again.
Allison Rizzolo, who was affected by the storm in Austin and had her power cut off, expressed to KEYE-TV that she wished the city had provided more direction regarding what residents should do and what they should anticipate.
“I get that there’s a fine line between preparedness and panic, but I wish they’d been more aggressive in their communications,” Rizzolo said.
It was the second time in three years that a February freeze produced protracted power outages and uncertainty over when the lights would turn back on for many Texans. Temperatures on Thursday were in the 30s, with wind chills below freezing.
More latest News:
- Officials Say A DC Metro Worker Was Killed Trying To Stop A Gunman From Killing Commuters
- Sharpton Message To Tyre Nichols 5 Black Police Officers: “How Dare You!”
In contrast to the blackouts that occurred in Texas in 2021, when hundreds of people were killed after the state’s grid was brought to the verge of total failure due to a lack of generation, the outages that occurred in Austin this time were primarily due to frozen equipment and ice-burdened trees and limbs falling on power lines. In 2021, the blackouts that occurred in Texas were caused by a lack of generation. However, the contrasts provided little solace to the people and businesses of Austin who, two years previously, were also without electricity for multiple days.
According to Travis County Judge Andy Brown, the county’s most senior elected official, the Central Texas Food Bank was one of the establishments that did not have electricity on Thursday.
“They have 21 counties to serve. They’ve been down for at least three days now. There’s a lot of need that they have,” Brown said.
As snow, sleet, and freezing rain continued to move through the area on Thursday, numerous school districts in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee, as well as those in the surrounding areas, decided to close their schools. At the earliest, classes won’t resume in Austin schools until the week after next.
Even though fewer planes were affected than in prior days, hundreds of additional flights were called off throughout the state of Texas.
Airport employees struggled against the ice to keep the runways operational. As of the morning of Thursday, airlines have already canceled more than 500 flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, which is equivalent to more than a quarter of all flights that were planned for the day. According to FlightAware.com, this represents a decrease from the almost 1,300 flight cancellations that occurred on Wednesday and the more than 1,000 that occurred on Tuesday.
At both Dallas Love Field and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, further flight cancellations totaling in the dozens were made. An arctic cold front is forecast to travel from Canada through the northern Plains and Upper Midwest on Thursday, and then make its way into the Northeast by Friday, bringing with it the potential for another round of bitterly cold weather in the United States.
During a briefing held on Thursday with the government Weather Prediction Center, residents of New England were issued a warning that wind chills in the negative 50s “may be the worst felt in decades.” Wind chills are the combined effect of wind and cold air on exposed skin.
According to a statement issued by the National Weather Service office located in Caribou, Maine, wind chills that are “rarely observed in northern and eastern Maine” are expected as a result of the combination of strong winds and cold air.
On Thursday, the director of meteorological operations at an observatory located on New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, which for decades held the world record for the strongest wind gust, Jay Broccolo, stated that wind speeds could reach above one hundred miles per hour (160 kph).
Broccolo stated, “We take safety extremely seriously in the higher summits, and the outlook for this weekend is looking pretty savage, even by our standards.”
Miller filed this report from his location in Oklahoma City. Airlines of the Associated Press This article was co-written by Dave Koenig, a journalist based in Dallas, Kathy McCormack, a writer based in Concord, New Hampshire, and Jeff Martin, a writer based in Atlanta.
If you enjoyed reading this post, please share your feedback with us in the comments box below. In addition, don’t forget to check back on our website Journalist PR frequently for the most recent updates.