The snow and ice monster has invaded almost the entire map of the United States. The cold wave has reached the south causing a chaos similar to that experienced by Spain last month after the passage of the storm Filomena. The snowfalls have been noticed even in the Gulf of Texas. “Normally, we don’t have that much cold air this far south,” said Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Forecast Center.
Damages similar to a Category 5 hurricane
The immense snowfall has forced cancellation of flights and driving has become dangerous in much of the country. In Houston it was 20 degrees at the beginning of the previous week, but the heavy snowfall has forced authorities to alert their citizens to prepare for power outages and for the danger that will be found on the roads. Adverse conditions that could be similar – according to what they say – to those experienced after the passage of a Category 5 hurricane.
According to the meteorological services in some areas from the south, snow will accumulate over a foot thick. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who issued a disaster declaration for all 254 counties in the state, warned as early as Saturday: “All of Texas is facing an extremely dangerous winter storm.”
Both Abbott and the Governors of Oklahoma and Arkansas have activated National Guard units to assist state agencies in rescuing trapped drivers. President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration in Texas on Sunday night to strengthen federal assistance in the area.
Hundreds of flights canceled
Time has forced to cancel more than 760 flights canceled at Dallas International Airport-Fort Worth, and at Dallas Love Field, most of the nearly 200 flights of Southwest Airlines, the airport’s main airline, were canceled.
The authorities advised against traveling in winter conditions. By early Sunday afternoon, the Texas Highway Patrol had reported multiple multiple crashes in West Texas, including one involving 25 vehicles and closing a portion of westbound Interstate 20.
** Power outages in various areas
Utilities warned of the likelihood of more power outages due to falling tree limbs. Hundreds of teams and utility companies moved to the area Sunday to be prepared in the event of further outages.
In Texas, the Texas Electrical Reliability Council, which manages the flow of electrical power in the state, asked customers to reduce their electricity use as much as possible until Tuesday, including closing the blinds to reduce the amount of heat that is lost through the windows and avoid the use of large appliances.
“We are experiencing record power demand due to the extremely cold temperatures that have gripped Texas”said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. “At the same time, we are dealing with larger-than-normal outages due to freezing of wind turbines and limited supply of natural gas available to generating units.”