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Millions face power outages & dangerous travel as historic cold, snow, and ice grip the South


Widespread and extended power outages likely to cause major business disruptions across several states

Key Highlights

Threats: Potentially life-threatening cold occurring across southern states not equipped to deal with the intensity and longevity of this type of outbreak

Power outages: Rolling blackouts occurring as Texas experiences coldest air in over three decades. Neighboring states could experience similar impacts

Impacts: Snow and ice rendering travel nearly impossible and extremely dangerous across multiple states; businesses at a standstill

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Storm Update

Much of the U.S. is currently in the grips of a major winter storm, accompanied by the coldest air masses since the late 1980s. As of Monday morning, nearly 2.5 million people were without power from Texas to Virginia, and even across Oregon, following the snow and freezing rain event that occurred over the weekend.

Heavy snow and ice accumulating on roadways created extremely hazardous travel conditions and caused widespread car accidents across Texas and Oklahoma Sunday night. 

Rolling blackouts began overnight across parts of Texas as electrical grids began to feel the strain of record electricity usage. As of Monday morning, over 1.5 million customers were without power in Texas alone, according to

Abnormally cold conditions will persist through much of the week, hindering emergency and recovery crews, as well as utility workers as they attempt to restore power.

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Impacts to Businesses

Dangerous travel and power outages are the most immediate impacts to a business during a storm like the one unfolding from the South into the Northeast this week. Knowing the timing of impactful weather and what the risks are to your business from certain winter hazards will allow you to be informed and prepared when the storm hits. 

AccuWeather For Business meteorologists have been working around the clock to provide clients with forecast products and site-specific warnings that integrate directly into their business continuity operations plans, keeping employees safe and ensuring minimal disruption of operations. 

One of the many products AFB can provide to your organization is a power outage forecasts, which pinpoint the location with the highest likelihood of losing power for an extended period due to snow and ice.  These products and many more are essential tools in helping businesses prepare and brace for a major winter storm.


With many organizations still working remotely, power and internet outages may impact your operations differently. While offices may have backups for these situations, that may not be the case for each individual’s home. It’s important to plan for siloed operations and sites/employees operating autonomously during significant weather and extended outages. That plan should be informed by impact-specific forecast information that is tailored to your location and needs. 

Read more about how various industries can be impacted by extreme cold in this blog discussing the Polar Vortex.

Start a demo of SkyGuard today and receive pinpointed snow, ice, and power outage information for your organization.

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