Winter weather brought ice to Texas and nearby states Tuesday, causing the cancellation of more than 980 flights and delays to nearly 800 more. Numerous auto collisions were reported in Austin, Texas, with at least one fatality according to the Austin Fire Department.
More than 500 flights to or from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and nearly 125 to or from Dallas Love Field were canceled or delayed Tuesday, according to the tracking service FlightAware. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has canceled more than 300 flights and delayed nearly 100 more, FlightAware reported.
The storm began Monday as part of an expected “several rounds” of wintry precipitation through Wednesday across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Chenard. “Generally light to moderate freezing rain resulting in some pretty significant ice amounts,” Chenard said.
“We’re expecting ice accumulations potentially a quarter inch or higher as far south as Austin, Texas, up to Dallas over to Little Rock, Arkansas, towards Memphis, Tennessee, and even getting close to Nashville, Tennessee,” according to Chenard.
The flight disruptions follow Southwest’s meltdown in December that began with a winter storm but continued after most other airlines had recovered. Southwest canceled about 16,700 flights over the last 10 days of the year, and the U.S. Transportation Department is investigating .
The weather service has issued a winter storm warning for a large swath of Texas and parts of southeastern Oklahoma and an ice storm warning across the midsection of Arkansas into western Tennessee.
A winter weather advisory is in place in much of the remainder of Arkansas and Tennessee and into much of Kentucky, West Virginia and southern parts of Indiana and Ohio. Schools and colleges in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas planned to close or go to virtual learning Tuesday.