DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - More than 200,000 homes and businesses lost power across the U.S. on Thursday as freezing rain and snow weighed down tree limbs and encrusted power lines, part of a winter storm that brought snowfall to parts of Texas.
Storm conditions also caused headaches for travelers across the country as airlines canceled more than 6,000 flights scheduled for Thursday or Friday in the U.S.
At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, authorities shut down all runways Thursday morning and reported more than 1,000 canceled flights.
Fort Worth-based American Airlines shared the following statement with CBS News on the matter Thursday night:
"The winter storm is having a significant impact on our DFW operation. Due to conditions at the airport, the remainder of flights bound for DFW this evening have been canceled and we anticipate additional impact through tomorrow morning. We apologize to our customers whose travel plans may be affected and want to thank our team who is working tirelessly to help safely care for our customers."
The highest totals of power outages blamed on icy or downed power lines were concentrated in Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and Ohio, but the path of the storm stretched further from the central US into the South and Northeast on Thursday.
Heavy snow was expected from the southern Rockies to northern New England, while forecasters said heavy ice buildup was likely from Texas to Pennsylvania.
"We have a lot of real estate covered by winter weather impacts this morning," Andrew Orrison, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland, said early Thursday. "We do have an expansive area of heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain occurring."
In Texas, the return of subfreezing weather brought heightened anxiety nearly a year after February 2021's catastrophic freeze that buckled the state's power grid for days, leading to hundreds of deaths in one of the worst blackouts in US history.
Facing a new test of Texas' grid, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said it was holding up and on track to have more than enough power to get through the storm. Texas had about 70,000 outages by Thursday morning, nowhere close to the 4 million outages reported in 2021.
Abbott and local officials said Thursday's outages were due to high winds or icy and downed transmission lines, not grid failures.
In Dallas, the overnight mix of snow and freezing rain had hardened Thursday afternoon into an icy slick that made roads perilous.
The disruptive storm began Tuesday and moved across the central US on Wednesday's Groundhog Day, the same day the famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. The storm came on the heels of a nor'easter last weekend that brought blizzard conditions to many parts of the East Coast.
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
for more features.