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Texas Winter Storm Updates: More than 300,000 customers without power

At least six people died on slippery Texas roads and two state law enforcement officers were seriously injured.

HOUSTON — Bands of sleet and snow that halted traffic in the center of the country, canceled thousands of flights and blamed for six deaths caused dangerous conditions in several southern states on the third Wednesday day.

Watches and warnings stretched from Texas to West Virginia. Multiple bouts of mixed precipitation, including freezing rain and sleet, were forecast for many areas throughout the day, meaning some regions could be hit multiple times, forecasters said.

Emergency responders rushed to hundreds of car crashes across Texas, and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott urged people to stay off the roads.

what you need to know

  • At least six people have died on slippery Texas roads since Monday, including a triple crash Tuesday near Brownfield, about 40 miles southwest of Lubbock, and two state law enforcement officers were seriously injured, authorities said.
  • As of 5:30 p.m., 3,334 flights had been canceled and another 13,280 delayed in the United States, according to FlightAware. This includes 58 cancellations at Bush Airport and 52 at Hobby Airport in Houston.
  • More than 282,000 customers in Texas were without power as of midday Wednesday, including more than 130,000 in the state capital Austin, according to website PowerOutage, which tracks utility reports.

What is an ice storm warning?

According to the National Weather Service, there is an ice storm warning usually exhibited for an ice accumulation of about 1/4 inch or more. This amount of ice accumulation makes travel dangerous or impossible, and is likely to result in snapped power lines and falling branches. Travel is strongly discouraged.

What is a winter weather warning?

According to the National Weather Service, a winter weather warning is issued for a significant winter weather event involving snow, ice, sleet or blowing snow, or a combination of these hazards. Traveling becomes difficult or impossible in some situations. Postpone your travel plans until conditions improve.

What is a winter weather guide?

According to the National Weather Service, a winter weather advisory is issued when snow, blowing snow, ice, sleet or a combination of these wintry elements are expected but conditions are not dangerous enough to meet the warning criteria. Be prepared for winter driving conditions and possible travel difficulties. Be careful when driving.

Check the status of your flights

Forecast for the Houston area

Stay up to date with KHOU 11 10-day local forecast and nationwide weather radar.

LIVE RADAR: Greater Houston and Texas

MORE: Check the daily forecast for the greater Houston area

Power Outages in Texas | Check over

Interactive map

In the event of a storm, there are power outages. Use this map to track power outage history.

You can review the current outages reported by CenterPoint Energy here with a map of where those outages are located.

You can also check out this real-time map from that shows how Texas counties are doing with electricity. As the outages increase, the color of each district changes.

Check the Texas power grid

Anytime the Texas power grid is the subject of a conservation advisory or when the weather in the Lone Star State turns extreme, it’s a good time to review supply and demand.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has a dashboard that allows you to monitor grid conditions in real time.

This is a real-time view of electricity supply and demand as reported by ERCOT. It also shows the forecasted supply and demand based on the forecast.

ERCOT monitors the status of the grid and the status of the balancing power.

There are several other real-time monitors that you can check on ERCOT’s websiteincluding system-wide demand, solar power, current prices and more.

Texas winter storm

Fleets of emergency vehicles have been deployed to 1,600 frost-affected roads.

In Texas, a sheriff’s deputy who stopped to help the driver of an 18-wheel vehicle that swerved off an icy freeway Tuesday was struck by a second truck that pinned him under one of its tires, the bureau said of the Travis County Sheriff. About 45 minutes after the crash on State Highway 130, the deputy was extricated from the rubble and taken to a hospital where he underwent surgery Tuesday afternoon, officials said. The deputy is expected to survive, officials said.

In another wreckage, a Texas state police officer was hospitalized with serious injuries after being hit by a driver who lost control of his vehicle, said Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“The roads are very dangerous at the moment. We can’t stress that enough,” Abbott said.

The storm began Monday as part of an expected “several rounds” of wintry precipitation through Wednesday in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Chenard.

“Generally light to moderate freezing rain resulting in fairly significant amounts of ice,” Chenard said.

“We expect ice accumulations of possibly a quarter inch or more as far as Austin, Texas, to Dallas, through Little Rock, Arkansas, to Memphis, Tennessee, and even near Nashville, Tennessee,” Chenard said.

The Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for much of Texas and parts of southeastern Oklahoma, and an ice storm warning across central Arkansas into western Tennessee.

A winter weather warning is in place for much of the rest of Arkansas and Tennessee, as well as much of Kentucky, West Virginia, and southern parts of Indiana and Ohio.

Schools and colleges in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas planned to close or transition to virtual learning on Tuesday.

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