(Austin) A winter storm that ravaged the United States on Monday caused havoc in Texas, resulting in power cuts to more than two million people and the closure of many highways, affecting new shipments of vaccines against Covid-19.
Temperatures had dropped as far as San Antonio, and homes that had been without electricity for hours on Monday afternoon had no confirmation when to restore power.
The storm was part of an enormous weather system, which brought snow, sleet and freezing rain across the South American plains and spreading into the Ohio Valley and into the northeast.
This is a “historic” event in the country, according to Jason Furtado, a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, referring to a winter storm warning across Texas.
In Houston, where county officials have warned that deteriorating conditions could create problems the size of hurricanes hitting the Gulf Coast, an electricity supplier warned that electricity could only return to some homes Tuesday.
State health officials said Texas, which had been expecting to receive more than 400,000 additional doses of the vaccine this week, will wait until at least Wednesday to receive them.
“Vaccination will resume as soon as it is safe,” said Douglas Loveday, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Health Services.
The largest Texas grocery chain, HEB, has closed locations around Austin and San Antonio, cities that are not accustomed to snow and have few resources to clear roads.
Many cities in the United States experienced record lows as the arctic air remained over the central part of the country. In Minnesota, the Hibbing / Chisholm Air Station recorded minus 39 degrees Celsius, while in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the temperature dropped to minus 26 degrees Celsius.
Blizzard in Louisiana -34 in Kansas
In Kansas, where cold winds pushed mercury to minus 34 degrees Celsius in some areas, Governor Laura Kelly declared a state of disaster.
Most government offices and schools have been closed on the occasion of President’s Day, and the authorities have appealed to residents to stay home.
Louisiana State Police are investigating nearly 75 weather-related accidents caused by a combination of snow, sleet, and freezing rain in the past 24 hours.
“We already have accidents on our roads,” Kentucky Governor Andy Bashir said at a morning news conference. It is slippery and dangerous. ”
Air transport was also affected. By mid-morning, 3,000 flights had been canceled across the country, including about 1,600 at the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport and Busch Intercontinental Airports in Texas.
President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Texas in a statement Sunday night. The announcement aims to add federal support to local and state government response efforts.