The extreme winter climate has sparked emergency declarations in not less than seven states, together with Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas — which has borne the brunt of the chilly climate.
“The window to organize for this historic storm has closed because the time to hunker down is right here,” Harris County Decide Lina Hidalgo mentioned, including that the twin menace of ice on the bottom and excessive chilly climate goes to pose “severe challenges.”
Historic lows in Texas
A ten-car pileup on I-45 south of downtown was simply considered one of many incidents on icy roads.
“Please keep away from touring till this extreme climate occasion subsides,” Acevedo mentioned.
Mayor Sylvester Turner, who declared a state of emergency earlier within the day, echoed the chief’s orders
“Please keep off the roads tonight and thru tomorrow. That is severe! The roads are harmful!”
On prime of the hazard icy roads pose, the mayor additionally cautioned residents that the climate may trigger rolling black outs.
“That is usually finished by rotating outages, that are managed, momentary interruptions of electrical service. Any such demand discount is simply used as a final resort to protect the reliability of the electrical system as an entire,” the ERCOT mentioned.
They’d beforehand requested customers and companies to cut back their electrical energy use as a lot as attainable by Tuesday.
“We’re experiencing record-breaking electrical demand as a result of excessive chilly temperatures which have gripped Texas,” mentioned ERCOT President and CEO Invoice Magness.
“On the similar time, we’re coping with higher-than-normal era outages resulting from frozen wind generators and restricted pure gasoline provides out there to producing items. We’re asking Texans to take some easy, protected steps to decrease their vitality use throughout this time.”
Houston and surrounding areas are underneath their first ever wind chill warning. Each county in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas is at the moment underneath a winter storm warning.
Chilly snap from coast to coast
Beneath freezing temperatures are forecast to have an effect on greater than 245 million folks within the decrease 48 states over the following seven days, with greater than 50 million People anticipated to expertise temperatures under zero.
The chilly air is so widespread that you possibly can journey practically 2,000 miles from the Rio Grande on the Mexican border to the St. Lawrence River on the Canadian border fully in winter storm warnings or watches.
There may be the potential for greater than 240 chilly temperature data to be damaged by Tuesday night, and a few data have already been shattered.
Oklahoma Metropolis has gone a report 5 days with out climbing over 20 levels — they don’t seem to be anticipated to prime 20 levels till Thursday, for a stretch of 9 days.
“This chilly snap is forecast to lead to report low temperatures which can be corresponding to the historic chilly snaps of Feb 1899 & 1905,” in line with the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Together with the bizarre, widespread chilly comes snow occasions that would additionally break data.
Seattle has already reported greater than 11 inches of snow over the weekend, essentially the most since January 1972, nearly 50 years in the past.
CNN’s Tyler Mauldin, Brandon Miller, Joe Sutton, Keith Allen and Gisela Crespo contributed to this report.