ARLINGTON, Va. — Icy roads contributed to a fast-rising quantity of automobile pileups Sunday as components of the nation contended with main winter storms that prompted energy outages and visitors nightmares.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott mentioned Sunday evening that President Joe Biden had accredited his request for a federal emergency declaration amid deteriorating situations all through the state, together with Dallas, Houston and El Paso.
The Texas Highway Patrol had reported a number of multi-car pileups within the western half of the state by early afternoon, together with one which concerned 25 automobiles and closed down a portion of Interstate 20 westbound.
On Thursday, at least six people died and dozens were injured in a 133-vehicle pileup on a Fort Worth, Texas, freeway.
And in Oklahoma, a fiery accident involving a number of semi-trailer vans compelled the shutdown of I-44 in each instructions northeast of Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol mentioned there have been additionally passenger automobiles on the crash scene. There have been no fatalities, and upkeep personnel have been working to plow the street to open it to visitors Sunday evening.
A wave of harsh winter climate and bitter chilly temperatures left a swath of the Pacific Northwest and components of the East blanketed in ice and snow Sunday, as extra foul climate took intention on the nation’s southern tier.
The storm that blasted the west left greater than 245,000 houses and companies with out energy Sunday evening in Oregon alone. To the north in Seattle, greater than a foot of snow fell by Sunday morning and extra precipitation was anticipated within the kind of sleet or rain that would contribute to energy outages, The Seattle Times reported.
Parts of the East were covered with a sheet of ice, and greater than 165,000 houses and companies in Virginia have been darkish late Sunday.
The near-record chilly temperatures might be blamed partially on the polar vortex, a big space of low stress and chilly air surrounding each of the Earth’s poles that has sagged down into the U.S. The outcome has been brutal situations for tons of of thousands and thousands of Americans this week.
Temperatures in components of Montana dropped into the minus-30s, and excessive temperatures weren’t anticipated to rise above zero or get much increased in japanese Wyoming or Colorado.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency late Saturday. Warming facilities and different providers have been being offered.
“Crews are out in full force,” Brown mentioned in an announcement. “I’m committed to making state resources available to ensure crews have the resources they need on the ground.”
The National Weather Service mentioned Oregon, Washington and Idaho ought to put together for an additional surge of winter moisture Sunday evening, probably resulting in extra heavy snowfall by means of Monday. The “unsettled winter conditions” would possible proceed all through the week, the climate service mentioned.
Winter storms and excessive chilly affected much of the western U.S., notably endangering homeless communities. Volunteers labored to make sure homeless residents in Casper, Wyoming, have been indoors because the National Weather Service warned of wind chill reaching 35 levels beneath zero.
The South was not exempt. Winter storm warnings have been in impact by means of Monday as a string of Southern cities braced for a blast snow, ice and bitterly chilly situations.
Large parts of the nation’s capital and its suburbs in Virginia and Maryland have been coated in ice Sunday morning.
“Travel only when necessary,” the Arlington County, Virginia, Environmental Services Department mentioned Sunday on Twitter. “Crews continue to check/salt known problem areas but temperatures rising above freezing are the best guarantee for safety.”
Snow started spreading throughout the Plains early Sunday in locations akin to Amarillo, Texas, Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kansas. Accuweather forecast snow and ice accumulations through the day on Monday for an inventory of cities not accustomed to such wintry climate, including Monroe and Shreveport, Louisiana, Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. All may see at least a couple of inches of recent snow.
Texas was taking the brunt of it.
Houston, the place temperatures hit the 70s on Tuesday, was bracing for below-freezing climate by Sunday evening, prompting officers to advise residents to arrange for hazardous roads that might be much like these skilled after a Category 5 hurricane.
“Typically, we just don’t have quite this much cold air in place that far south,” mentioned Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.
More than 700 flights have been canceled at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, whereas at Dallas Love Field most of the practically 200 flights for Southwest Airlines, the airport’s primary provider, have been canceled.
Lubbock was bracing for 3-5 inches of snow; areas exterior the town may see as much as 8 inches. Temperatures have been forecast to drop into damaging numbers in a single day, and Monday may see wind chill temperatures of minus-21, the National Weather Service forecast.
“Travel could be very difficult,” the climate service warned. “Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. Road conditions will become hazardous.”
In El Paso, metropolis water authorities urged residents to “protect your pipes” forward of the chilly entrance to keep away from pricey repairs and harm.
“When water freezes, it expands its quantity by practically 10%, and the stress can lead to damaged water traces,” the water company said in a statement.
Experts recommended insulating outdoor pipes and even allowing cold water to drip from faucets. Running a drip of water through the pipes helps prevent pipes from freezing because the temperature of the water is above freezing.
In Louisiana, the state Department of Transportation issued closings for bridges, overpasses and interstate ramps in the northeastern part of the state. The National Weather Service forecast snow, sleet and wintry mix Sunday and Monday throughout the region.
Temperatures were expected to reach record lows and not rise above freezing for multiple days.
“Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories have been issued for vital ice accumulations and impacts,” the National Weather Service in New Orleans tweeted Sunday. “Upwards of 1/2 an inch of ice is feasible in some areas however even a TRACE of freezing rain is harmful.”
Contributing: Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, Bonnie Bolden, Monroe (Louisiana) News-Star; The Associated Press