Rain fall and warmer weather brings a low fog to a snowy Central Park near the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace in New York City on Thursday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 3 (UPI) — A severe winter storm dumping snow and ice throughout a large swath of the United States on Thursday canceled thousands of flights and knocked out power to customers in Tennessee and Texas.
At least 5,100 flights into or out of the United States were canceled by mid-afternoon Thursday, with more than 2,700 delays, according to FlightAware.
Thursday evening, nearly 150,000 customers were also without power in Tennessee. In Texas 60,000 had lost power earlier in the afternoon, but that figure was down to 33,000 by the evening. More than 63,000 were without power in Ohio, while Arkansas and Kentucky each had more than 14,000 outages.
The severe weather produced a tornado in west-central and southwest Alabama, killing one woman and injuring several other people, Hale County Coroner Howard Paige told AL.com. Hale County Emergency Management Agency Director Russell Weeden said three people had critical injuries.
The National Weather Service said widespread heavy snow and freezing rain was expected into Friday morning. The weather service said freezing rain and flash floods were possible across portions of the south.
The storm impacted a wide swath of the country, from North Texas to New York.
Cities in Illinois and Michigan had a foot of snow in the storm’s first wave. Parts of Indiana expected up to 18 inches of snow.
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott warned of treacherous roads and possible power outages. This storm came roughly one year after the Texas power grid collapsed during a cold snap.
“Either ice on power lines … could cause a power line to go down, or it could be ice on trees that causes a tree to fall on power lines,” Abbott said.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a weather state of emergency. It closed state office buildings Thursday. The governor also issued an executive order intended to protect Kentucky residents from price gouging during the emergency.
Our national forecast chart paints the picture of the very active weather day ahead. Widespread heavy snow and freezing rain is forecast from New England to Texas. In addition, there is the risk for flash flooding as well as severe weather across portions of the South. pic.twitter.com/dnqRQwwNlC— NWS Weather Prediction Center (@NWSWPC) February 3, 2022