“Because of the icing, many roads in Texas will remain very dangerous for the next 24 to 48 hours,” he said. “Be careful, especially for things like black ice.”
The Fort Worth weather service warned that light to moderate freezing rain moving into central Texas counties Wednesday would “freeze on contact when it lands and collect ice on ALL surfaces!”
“Already slippery roads will become even slippery and more dangerous tonight and tomorrow!” was in one tweet.
The severe weather this week has also contributed to thousands of flight cancellations and delays.
According to the online flight tracker, at least 2,403 flights in, from and to the United States were canceled on Wednesday FlightAware. At least 1,338 of those flight cancellations occurred at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, nearly 390 at Dallas Love Field and 345 at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, flag carriers both based in the region, made up the majority of cancellations, with Southwest seeing 675 flights canceled on Wednesday and American Airlines 876 cancellations, according to FlightAware.
The National Basketball Association has canceled a game between the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons for Wednesday night due to travel issues.
“Due to the harsh weather conditions in the Dallas area, the Pistons were unable to fly back to Detroit after their Monday game at the American Airlines Center,” the NBA said.
Giant power outage
More than 371,000 homes and businesses were without power in Texas Wednesday night, according to the outage tracking website PowerOutage.us.
“Ice and tree limbs are still breaking as our linemen work to recover,” tweeted utility Austin Energy, which had more than 163,000 customers without electricity on Wednesday.
Nearly half an inch of black ice fell in parts of the city, said the National Weather Servicecausing countless trees and tree branches to fall.
Utility Oncor had about 117,800 customers out. It said crews were working as quickly as possible to restore power.
At Tuesday’s news conference, utility officials said the state’s power grid and natural gas supply were ready and would remain reliable through the course of the severe weather.
Peter Lake, chairman of the Public Utility Commission, told Texans to contact their local energy suppliers if winter weather and ice buildup caused local power outages.
Heavy weather to continue
Abbott said people in the north, west and center of the state should prepare for continued severe weather through Thursday.
He said parts of Texas could even experience flash flooding on Wednesday and Thursday.
More icy conditions were expected from Texas through a majority of the Mid-South on Wednesday, the weather service said. Additional ice accumulations of up to half an inch were predicted for much of central and northern Texas, as well as parts of southern Arkansas, it said.
“A quarter inch of ice accretion is possible over a wider area encompassing southern Oklahoma, most of Arkansas and as far west as Tennessee,” it added, warning that this amount of ice accretion on top of what has already fallen would could lead to more “treacherous travel”, along with the possibility of tree damage and power outages.
Ice storm warnings, winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in effect for hard-hit areas and residents have been urged to check road conditions before traveling and to drive with extreme caution, it said.
Delivery services Grubhub and DoorDash confirmed to NBC News on Wednesday that services have been suspended in weather-affected areas.