AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Bands of sleet and snow that brought traffic to a standstill across the nation’s midsection, canceled thousands of flights and were blamed for three deaths caused dangerous conditions for a third day Wednesday in several Southern states.
Watches and warnings stretched from Texas to West Virginia. Several rounds of mixed precipitation, including freezing rain and sleet, were in store for many areas throughout the day, meaning some regions could be hit multiple times, forecasters said.
More than 1,400 flights scheduled for Wednesday nationwide had already been canceled by Wednesday morning, according to the tracking service FlightAware. The list for cancelations included both major airports in Dallas and airports in Austin, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee.
As the ice and sleet enveloped Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis-Shelby County Schools announced it would cancel classes Wednesday due to freezing rain and hazardous road conditions. The school system has about 100,000 students.
Emergency responders rushed to hundreds of auto collisions across Texas on Tuesday and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott urged people not to drive. At least three people died on slick Texas roads since Monday and two law officers in the state were seriously injured, authorities said.
In Arkansas, Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency Tuesday because of icy conditions. Her declaration cited the “likelihood of numerous downed power lines” and said road conditions have created a backlog of deliveries by commercial drivers.
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