On Thursday Thousands of frustrated residents in Texas faced freezing homes after over a day without power, including many in the state capital, as an icy winter storm that reportedly caused 10 traffic deaths has been causing chaos in the southern states.
Across The Lone Star State, over 400,00 customers were without power on Thursday, according to PowerOutage.us. The hardest hit city was Austin, where frustration increased among the 156,000 customers over 24 hours after their electricity went out, which for many also meant losing their heat. Power failures have affected about 30% of customers in the city of nearly a million at any given time since Wednesday.
Allison Rizzolo, whose power went out in Austin, told KEYE-TV that the city would provide more updates on what to do and what to expect.
“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.
Mayor Kirk Watson, at a news conference Thursday, said city officials will review, and possibly update, communication procedures in the event of a power outage or freeze.
“I know that top of mind for everyone is restoring power to each and every home, and crews are working even as we speak and have through the night,” the mayor said. “Because of the length and nature of this storm, it has proven very challenging.”
Schools in the Dallas and Austin area, plus several in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee, closed Thursday as snow, sleet and freezing rain continued hit the Southern States. Public transportation in Dallas also experienced “major delays” early Thursday, according to a statement from Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
Hundreds more flights were canceled again in Texas, although there was a reduction in cancellations from the previous days.
Airport staff fought ice to keep runways open. By Thursday morning, airlines had canceled over 500 flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, which is over a quarter of all flights scheduled for the day. This figure did represent a decrease from the 1,300 cancellations on Wednesday and more than 1,000 on Tuesday, according to FlightAware.com.
Dozens more flights were canceled at Dallas Love Field and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
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