States of emergency are in effect from Texas to Virginia after an ice storm and crippling cold weather turned roads into dangerous skating rinks over the past few days.
More than 2 million residents from Texas to Oklahoma are now enduring extremely frigid weather without electricity. Temperatures have plunged as low as the single digits with wind chills below zero as far south as San Antonio, TX.
Along the icy highways, accidents abound. Big rigs littered the interstate near El Paso, TX. Late last week, one massive crash on an icy Texas interstate left more than 130 vehicles wrecked, six people dead, and dozens more injured.
Near Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Turner Turnpike was shut down for several hours after 3 semis collided in a fiery crash.
In Oregon, hundreds of thousands of customers lost power after heavy ice toppled trees.
Seattle saw the most snow in 52 years.
Down in Texas, it was even snowing at the Alamo. And it’s so cold in Houston that the city could see its coldest February in 122 years.
Harris County Chief Executive Lina Hidalgo warned residents to “stay off the roads so that we don’t cause a disaster on top of a disaster.”
Power companies in Texas have been forced into rolling blackouts because of the massive demand on the power grid.
Airlines have canceled thousands of flights over the weekend and into today.
More than 120 million Americans are under winter weather alerts, with snow and ice expected from Dallas all the way to New York. Temperatures could be 50 degrees below-average in some areas.
Beginning today, New York is expected to see 6-12 inches of snow.
In Connecticut, where road crews are trying to prepare for the coming storm, they’re facing a shortage of road salt.
One road crew worker said, “We sat in line for eight hours, nine hours and we got one load. I could use 20 loads.”
The governors of Oklahoma and Arkansas have activated National Guard units to help rescue stranded drivers.
Matthew Meeker with Fort Smith, Arkansas Streets and Traffic Control said, “We’re doing the best we can and we’re not going to stop until it’s done.”
And to make matters worse, another storm system is expected to take aim at the northeast on Thursday.