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An ice storm is unleashing treacherous conditions across parts of the Southern U.S.

The National Weather Service predicts the ice storm will have wide-ranging impacts across the U.S. South through Thursday morning.
National Weather Service
The National Weather Service predicts the ice storm will have wide-ranging impacts across the U.S. South through Thursday morning.

Updated January 31, 2023 at 6:41 PM ET

A major winter storm battering the Southern U.S. has created dangerous travel conditions and disrupted thousands of flights. At least one person died in a car crash in Texas, authorities said.

The ice storm stretching from Texas to Tennessee will continue through at least Thursday morning, with expected ice accumulation affecting travel and possibly spurring scattered power outages, the National Weather Service reported. Heavy rains and scattered flash floods are also possible, forecasters said.

Early Tuesday, sleet and freezing rain were falling across north and central Texas, with the NWS predicting that road conditions would become even more "treacherous" as the day wore on.

With icy and snowy conditions on roads across the state, a number of crashes were reported. One person died in a car crash in which inclement weather and icy roads may have been a factor, according to preliminary information from the Austin Police Department. The Austin Fire Department said it responded to more than 90 car crashes since midnight as well as two fires caused by space heaters.

"Texans are urged to remain weather-aware and stay off the roads if possible," Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday. "If driving is absolutely necessary, motorists can check DriveTexas.org to receive the most up-to-date road conditions."

More than 1,900 U.S. flights were canceled by Tuesday evening, and more than 4,000 were delayed, according to the flight tracker FlightAware. Most of the flight disruptions were at airports in Texas: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport.

Sleet, freezing rain and ice had also moved north into southern Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas, where hazardous road conditions were making driving dangerous and at least one accident was reported. Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she activated winter weather support teams from the Arkansas National Guard.

Additionally, many schools and colleges in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas were planning to shut down or switch to online learning Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez
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