[TRENDING] 2 Million Lose Electricity Because of #Texas Winter

An unusually harsh winter storm in Texas has left more than 2.5 million customers without power in the state amid dangerously low temperatures.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Saturday that Texas “is facing a very dangerous winter storm” over the coming days that will “make movement virtually impossible.”

He called the storm “unprecedented” in the state’s history.

Temperatures fell below 0 in some Texas towns on Monday. Amarillo reported a temperature of -8, while Midland reported a temperature of 0, and Lubbock reported a temperature of 1.

Rotating power outages were initiated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, early Monday morning, meaning thousands went without electricity for periods of time as temperatures fell into the teens near Dallas and 20s (about minus 5 degrees Celsius) around Houston.

Austin’s electric utility Austin Energy told residents the outages may be longer than usual, prompting angry social media replies from Texans who said they’d been without power for five or more hours.

“Typical events allow short durations of each outage, but outages are longer if the ERCOT grid requires — which is what we’re seeing in today’s event,” Austin Energy wrote on Twitter

The utility advised residents to keep their keep their thermostat set to 68 degrees or lower, and to avoid using their oven or washing machine. Businesses were likewise advised to minimize operations to conserve energy.

Some turned to social media to vent their frustration with the outages.

“My parents, who are elderly, have been without power since 2am,” one user wrote. “They are over 70years old. How can I get them some power?!

“This is downright dangerous,” wrote another user. “No power for 5+ hours and sub zero windchills.”

Kent and Brazos counties, on opposite sides of the state, were hardest hit with nearly all customers losing power early Monday morning, according to an online power outage tracker.

“The electricity grid continues to lose generation,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told residents on Twitter. “If you are without power, you may be without power throughout the day. Please do your best to stay warm safely. Check on our seniors.

American Airlines said about 345 of its flights were canceled at DFW Airport, its hub, by early Sunday afternoon. The airline said the storm was also affecting its flights across the region, with operations reduced and canceled at airports across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The current storm system formed Friday night, stretching across much of the Ohio Valley and Appalachians into the Northeast. Texas issued a winter storm warning for the entire weekend and the early part of the week.

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“Maximum cold weather preparations MUST be completed today,” Jeff Lindner, a Harris County Flood Control District meteorologist, tweeted Sunday morning. “Time is running out and conditions will quickly deteriorate late this afternoon and evening.”

Road safety will be a top priority after Fort Worth saw a pileup last week involving over 130 vehicles, including 18-wheelers and passenger cars, which resulted in six deaths and dozens of injuries

In El Paso, a 15-car pileup on Sunday morning served as a warning to anyone wanting to travel, but fortunately no deaths were reported as of Sunday, KFOX14 reported.

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