Deadly ice storm that has crippled parts of Texas, mid-South finally coming to an end after 4 days
At least seven people were killed in crashes across Texas, including a triple-fatal crash in Terry County and a crash that claimed the life of a Ropes Independent School District student in the community of Wolfforth, Texas. One other storm-related death was reported in Arkansas.
A multi-day, crippling ice storm responsible for at least eight deaths and more than 400,000 power outages across Texas and the mid-South will finally come to an end on Thursday as the final surge of winter weather slides across the region.
The storm has been pelting the area with sleet and freezing rain since the beginning of the week as a bitter blast of arctic air settled across the region and led to major impacts on travel both on the ground and in the air.
Deadly crashes reported on icy roads
Driving was nearly impossible for millions of people since the start of the week when roads turned to sheets of ice from Texas to Tennessee after rain fell through the warm air aloft to the freezing surface below.
Dozens of crashes were reported on roads and highways across the region, especially on bridges and overpasses.
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At least seven people were killed in crashes across Texas, including a triple-fatal crash in Terry County and a crash that claimed the life of a student in the community of Wolfforth.
One other storm-related death was reported in Arkansas.
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Flights canceled, schools closed
Thousands of flights into and out of the region were also heavily impacted because of the crippling effects of the ice storm. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport lead the pack with the most cancelations and delays, including a ground stop for much of Tuesday due to ice.
And schools across the region made the decision to let students go home early or close schools altogether, including Fort Worth and Austin.
In addition, Oklahoma State University made the decision to close its campus temporarily.
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Nearly a half-million power outages reported
As ice continues to build, or accrete, this can spell trouble for power lines as they become coated in increasingly thicker layers of ice.
Ice accretions of less than a quarter-inch are generally considered to be a nuisance, but impacts start to become disruptive once amounts close in on a half-inch or more. At around a half-inch, power outages can become numerous.
Power outages started to skyrocket Tuesday night overnight into Wednesday. On Tuesday night, only about 30,000 outages had been reported. But by Wednesday morning, those numbers consistently jumped through the day on Wednesday into Thursday morning.