A massive ice storm wreaked havoc on the southern and central US over the weekend, disrupting travel, knocking out power and killing at least four people. Over 200,000 people in Dallas lost power as the unusual event swept through, covering buildings with mounds of ice that came crashing down in dangerous sheets as the temperatures began to climb back to normal. Some areas, a few of which rarely see snow, got up to 8 inches of powder and thousands of flights were cancelled or delayed.
Some of the ice sheets that accumulated over the weekend began to melt and fall onto cars and sidewalks below, creating a dangerous situation for pedestrians and drivers. Arkansas and Tennessee both declared areas to be in a state of emergency, which will make recovery efforts easier. Many businesses, schools and government were closed in the face of freezing rain, snow and sleet on Friday, and the northeast and eastern-central US saw similar conditions on Sunday.
Though the central and southern US saw the most dramatic impact, weather in other areas across the US caused disruptions in shipments and travel. In the north-central US, temperatures dipped below average into the sub-zero range – Great Falls Montana hit 26 below zero, 6 degrees colder than the South Pole in the Antarctic. In California, growers struggled to protect the state’s 2 billion dollar citrus crops from the dip in temperatures.