US Winter Storm Causes Blackouts in 14 States, Flights Canceled

Winter Storm Uri has caused blackouts in at least 14 states and shut down air travel after causing severe low temperatures and heavy snowfall across the US.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) said that demand has exceeded its grid electric supply which forced it to implement controlled outages in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, Wyoming, and Nebraska.

SPP said it was their first time ordering mass blackouts in order to prevent further uncontrolled power failures.

“It’s a last resort, that we understand puts a burden on our member utilities and the customers they serve, but it’s a step we’re consciously taking to prevent circumstances from getting worse, which could result in uncontrolled outages of even greater magnitude,” said SPP’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, Lanny Nickell.

Texas was the first state to implement the rolling blackouts which left 3.76 million residents without power.

Dan Woodfin, a senior director for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said the blackouts are expected to continue until Tuesday.

All 254 Texas counties are currently under winter weather advisories and under a state of emergency while National Guard troops were deployed to conduct welfare checks and set up warming shelters for residents.

The Austin-Bergstrom International, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental, and the Dall Love Fields airports have also announced cancellations and grounded all flights in and out of the state.

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