More than 1,500 flights to and from the United States were canceled as a deadly ice storm swept through parts of the South on Tuesday.
The storm was centered in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, making travel problems in that area the worst, with 742 flights canceled at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, according to online flight tracker FlightAware.
The area, home to American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, had at least 559 dead as of early Tuesday Southwest Airlines flights are listed as canceled, along with 507 American Airlines flights. at least 314 Southwest Airlines flights were delayed, while 390 American Airlines flights were also listed as delayed, according to FlightAware.
This Federal Aviation Administration It warned that freezing rain and icing could slow flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Memphis International Airport.
One person died in Austin after a weather-related multiple-vehicle collision, according to Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.
“Almost every collision we’re dealing with right now is weather-related,” a spokesperson told NBC News. “Essentially all the elevated roads and overpasses in the Austin and Travis County area are icy.”
According to the National Weather Service, the ice storm is expected to be “long-lasting and significant” and will “continue to affect a large area from the southern Plains to the Tennessee Valley.”
The “dangerous” ice storm is expected to persist until at least early Thursday, bringing frigid air, freezing rain and sleet, as well as travel confusion and delays, it said.
From west Texas to western Tennessee, “widespread total ice accumulation is likely to exceed 0.25,” with localized amounts as high as 0.75, the weather service said. It warned that so much ice could lead to hazardous travel conditions, as well as damaged trees and sporadic power outages in the hardest-hit areas.
A half-inch or more of sleet could also accumulate from West Texas to Arkansas, which the weather service said could lead to “hazardous” travel conditions.
It said an ice storm warning, winter storm warning and winter weather warning had been issued for affected areas, warning travelers to check road conditions and drive with extra caution before heading anywhere.
At a news conference on Tuesday, the governor. Greg Abbott said the state could even see potential flash flooding in central, eastern and southeastern Texas on Wednesday and Thursday.
Abbott also urged residents to avoid roads due to dangerous icing, adding that about 1,600 roads in the state were affected by the storm.
“Many roads in Texas will remain very dangerous for the next 24 to 48 hours because of the ice,” he said. “Be careful, especially with things like black ice.”
As of Tuesday morning, there were 7,000 outages in Texas, all of which were being addressed, Abbott said, adding that while some localized outages were expected, there were no major problems with the grid.
In Fort Worth, the MedStar ambulance service responded to 142 motor vehicle crashes in the first 24 hours of the winter storm, including 19 overnight, spokesman Matt Zavadsky said. Sixteen of these were rollover accidents.
MedStar also responded to eight patients with hypothermia. Seven patients were taken to local hospitals, five of them in serious condition. The ambulance service also reported that nine patients were injured after slipping and falling on the ice.
AUSTIN – Travis County Emergency Medical Services says two people have suffered “serious, potentially life-threatening injuries” in multiple car crashes in Austin due to “icing” Twitter.
Emergency services are encouraging residents to stay at home as much as possible and stay off the road.
The cold air mass is bringing chills to the South Central and is expected to bring well-below-average temperatures and wind chills to the U.S. Midwest, the weather service said.
Wind chill warnings and advisories have been issued for parts of the central and northern Plains and the Intermountain West.
colin healy contributed.