CHICAGO, Feb 3 (Reuters) – A massive winter storm swept across the central and Northeast United States on Thursday where it was delivering heavy snow and ice, making travel treacherous if not impossible, knocking out power to thousands and closing schools in several states.
Winter and ice storm warnings remained in effect for a wide swathe of the United States that reached from Texas up through the Midwest and into New England until Friday morning, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
More than 100 million people across at least 25 states were under winter weather alerts on Thursday, CNN reported.
A damaging ice storm is underway in portions of Texas, Arkansas and Kentucky. More than a half inch of ice may accumulate by Friday morning in some spots, possibly causing power outages, tree damage and dangerous travel conditions, the weather service warned.
After the storm dumped heavy snow on the Midwest on Wednesday, parts of the region could see another 6 inches (15 cm) of snow on Thursday. The snow will be accompanied by high winds of up to 35 miles (56 km) per hour that could significantly reduce visibility.
School districts in several states including Texas, Michigan and Ohio canceled classes on Thursday. Dallas schools closed schools attended by 145,000 students for Thursday and Friday.
More than 50,000 homes and businesses in Texas and another 25,000 in Arkansas were without power on Thursday morning, Poweroutages.us reported.
More than 1,000 flights were canceled in and out of Dallas and Austin airports and another 500 were canceled from and to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Flightaware.com reported. In all, more than 4,000 flights had been canceled.
The storm will push temperatures down. Highs in many places across the Plains and Mississippi Valley will be between 20-40 degrees below average over the next few days, the NWS said.