Thursday marked a chaotic day across much of the southern United States, where heavy snow and icy weather blanketed the landscape. In Texas, thousands were left without power, including a significant portion of Austin's population. This was magnified by the fact that more than 430,000 customers in Texas lacked power on Thursday. The lasting loss of electricity and heat for more than 156,000 in the state capital is especially troubling as over 30% of customers in the city have experienced power outages at some point since Wednesday. Texans face not just dangerous weather conditions but also longer-lasting lack of resources and potential property damage due to frozen pipes and other complications caused by interrupted power supply.
Despite assurances from ERCOT leader Pablo Vegas that such a situation would not ensue, parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee are still facing wide-scale power outages due to icy conditions. Trees falling on power lines compounded the already weak grid due to frozen equipment in areas like Dallas and Austin. Without any rescue efforts for two days now, people have had to find alternative ways to stay warm and fly without planes as hundreds more flights have been canceled. The impending doom was felt in many places where entire school systems had to close down due to concerns of what could happen. With more snow and icy precipitation predicted throughout the day it may not be until Friday when residents achieve full power again.