The storm affected large swathes of Texas as well as neighboring states, leaving thousands of people without power and causing hundreds of traffic accidents.
A winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service covered northern Texas, southern Oaklahoma and western Arkansas. Authorities advised commuters to avoid traveling as high winds and freezing rain battered the area, leaving highways covered in layers of ice, writes John Herskowitz for Reuters.
According to FlightAware.com, almost 1,100 flights were cancelled at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as of noon CST. The airport is one of the busiest in the U.S. and serves as a hub for American Airlines. Around a further 100 flights were cancelled at Love Field in Dallas, which handles a large amount of Southwest Airlines traffic.
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Tragically the last few days have seen at least 22 deaths due to icy conditions in Tennessee, according to the state’s Emergency Management Agency. Meanwhile 11 people have died in Kentucky due to the wintry conditions.
Public schools in the Dallas and Fort Worth area were closed on Monday, and highway traffic was minimal. Trees falling under the weight of the ice were responsible for knocking down power lines and leaving thousands without light.
Ice storm disrupts affected areas
Commuters such as BreeAnna Moore, 27, were discouraged from driving to work after seeing live traffic camera streams. “I really can’t afford to miss a day, but then again I don’t think it’s worth my life or my car trying to make it in,” she said.
Courthouses were also closed, resulting in the postponement of the trial of the man accused of killing Chris Kyle, the former U.S. Navy Seal who inspired Hollywood hit “American Sniper.”
According to the Weather Service, the East Coast and northern states were also due to receive a freezing blast of arctic air on Monday in the aftermath of a ice storm that hit the area this weekend.
Residents of affected areas are advised to stay up-to-date with the latest new bulletins and follow official instructions in order to lower the risk of further injuries or deaths.