Ice storm hits the South and central US

By Adrienne Vogt and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 8:35 p.m. ET, February 1, 2023
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7:22 p.m. ET, February 1, 2023

More than 12 million people under ice storm warnings, NWS says

More than 12 million people are under ice storm warnings, according to the National Weather Service as of Wednesday night. About 7 million people are under winter storm warnings.

The NWS is predicting the ice storm hitting much of the south, especially parts of Texas, will pass through by Thursday. The winter weather warnings are mostly in Texas, Arkansas, parts of Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Here's a look at the map:

In Texas, hundreds of thousands of people are still without power across the state. With temperatures forecast to be below freezing, here are some things you can do to stay warm if your power is out.

First, if you are using a generator, make sure it is at least 20 feet outside and away from your home, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Austin, Texas, Emergency Management also recommends:

  • Wearing several layers of clothing. Each player should be lightweight so that air can circulate, but warm.
  • Even if you're inside, don't be afraid to wear hats, mittens and blankets.
  • Close the curtains around your windows.
  • Try to stay together in one room and close the door.
6:13 p.m. ET, February 1, 2023

Temperatures could say below freezing until tomorrow across parts of the South

The cold, icy weather could stick around parts of the South overnight, before finally starting to clear up many places Thursday morning, according to the latest forecast from CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray.

Nearly 340,000 people are without power in Texas, according to PowerOutage.Us, as the storm works its way through the state. Temperatures will not get back above freezing until later Thursday or Friday for some people, Gray said.

Reports of sleet and ice have been coming in across the South and mid-South, Gray said, with Dallas, Texas, recording at least half an inch of ice already.

Watch the latest forecast:

6:08 p.m. ET, February 1, 2023

Widespread freezing rain persists across North Texas, National Weather Service says

From CNN's Taylor Ward

Joshua Lang shovels ice off a public walkway leading into a neighborhood park near his home in Dallas, Texas.
Joshua Lang shovels ice off a public walkway leading into a neighborhood park near his home in Dallas, Texas. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

Freezing rain is falling across northern Texas and the National Weather Service (NWS) expects problems on roadways to increase after dark.

“Widespread freezing rain continues this afternoon across much of North Texas,” the Dallas NWS said.

The NWS credits sunlight for melting some of the ice this afternoon despite temperatures remaining below freezing. 

“Incoming solar radiation … is working on some of the ice pack on area roads and we are seeing melting despite air temperatures in the upper 20s,” they said. “While this may lead to a false sense of relief, there is still a substantial threat for considerable icing, especially as we head into the evening hours.”


4:36 p.m. ET, February 1, 2023

More than 300,000 customers are without power in Texas due to severe winter weather

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Power outages in Texas as a result of this week’s severe winter weather are now topping 300,000 customers.

The tracking website showed 347,598 electric customers without power as of 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, mostly in areas just south and east of Dallas.

The National Weather Service in Dallas warned that road conditions Wednesday night are not expected to improve as temperatures remain below freezing.

4:26 p.m. ET, February 1, 2023

Flight cancellations top 2,000 across the US

More than 2,000 flights have been canceled across the US so far today, according to the flight-tracking site FlightAware.

The winter storm is wreaking havoc in the skies, with most cancellations and delays in Texas at Dallas-Fort Worth International, Dallas Love Field and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

American Airlines and Southwest are the top affected carriers.

3:43 p.m. ET, February 1, 2023

Freezing rain is starting in Little Rock and Memphis, according to weather services

Icicles hang from a tree outside Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday, February 1.
Icicles hang from a tree outside Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday, February 1. (Chris Day/USA Today Network)

The National Weather Service stations in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee, report that freezing rain has begun around the two metro areas.

This is the third round of the ice storm, according to both services.

"We expect this to continue and expand across much of the southern 2/3 of the state through tomorrow morning," according to NWS Little Rock.

NWS Memphis advised drivers to avoid traveling if possible due to the messy conditions.

4:34 p.m. ET, February 1, 2023

Connecticut governor activates severe cold weather protocol to go into effect Thursday afternoon

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced earlier this week that he is directing the state’s severe cold weather protocol to go into effect beginning at 12 p.m. ET Thursday until Sunday as the state prepares for extremely cold air and strong winds later this week. 

“Don’t be fooled by this mild weather that we are experiencing right now, because it looks like a blast of arctic air and winds will impact Connecticut later this week and this weekend,” the governor said in a news release on Monday.

With the kind of severe cold weather that is headed our way, frostbite can develop on exposed skin in under 30 minutes. Spending long periods of time outdoors in these conditions is not only harmful, it can be fatal. Shelters and warming centers are available across Connecticut. Anyone in need of a safe place to stay warm is urged to call 2-1-1 to get connected to a nearby location, and transportation can be provided if needed.”

The severe cold weather protocol, the governor said, is activated "to ensure that the most vulnerable populations receive protection from the severe cold conditions, which could be life-threatening if exposed to the elements for extended periods of time."

The northern portion of the state including the city of Hartford, is under a wind chill watch, according to the National Weather Service New York Office (NWS). 

2:15 p.m. ET, February 1, 2023

Group of Jeep owners rescue more than a dozen stranded semi-truck drivers in Dallas-Fort Worth area

From CNN’s Caroll Alvarado 

A group of Jeep owners has set out to rescue trapped drivers in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area as an ice storm continues to sweep through. 

“Carnales Off Road” is a group based out of Dallas whose members gather to share their love of Jeeps and raise money for good causes, founder Jorge Coronilla Muñiz told CNN. 

“It’s not the first time we’ve done this during bad weather. We try to help as often as possible,” Muñiz said. 

On Tuesday, several semi-trucks got stuck on I-20 and had to be rescued by the group who showed up with about 30 Jeeps to help tow the trucks.

“Before we got to I-20, we also helped a few other cars who were stuck on the streets,” Muniz said. “We eventually came across the standstill on Interstate 20 and helped an additional 20 trucks.”

Muñiz said he and other group members began helping stranded motorists early Tuesday morning and didn’t stop till 10 p.m. local time.

“Everyone was very grateful for our help, especially the truck drivers. Some even asked if they we were going to charge them for the help, but we told them we were just there to help," he added.

The group is back out on the roads Wednesday and will also assist medical professionals who have reached out asking for help with getting to and from work, Muñiz said. 

The group plans to pick up some nurses from their evening shift at Parkland Health and escort them home, according to Muñiz.

The group has been around for a year and a half and organizes back-to-school giveaways, toy drives and cancer fundraisers, he added.


1:55 p.m. ET, February 1, 2023

Woman killed when her truck hit a tree off an icy road in Texas

From CNN’s Chris Boyette

A 49-year-old woman was killed this week when she lost control of her truck on an icy road in rural Texas, police said.

Sherry Lynn Taylor was driving her Chevrolet pickup truck on US 277 just north of Eldorado around 9:40 p.m. local time Monday night when she lost control of the vehicle, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Her truck went into a side skid and struck a tree.

Three weather-related deaths have been reported this week in Texas as three rounds of freezing rain and ice have wreaked havoc on travel.

On Tuesday, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services said one person was killed after a 10-car pileup in Austin. Police in Arlington also said Tuesday that one person was killed when their vehicle rolled over.