A major winter storm has started brewing over Texas, with the worst snowfalls expected Sunday afternoon as the state prepares for historic and dangerous conditions.
The state has already seen snowfall in most counties over Saturday night, with officials warning residents to avoid travel unless necessary due to icy roads.
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Gov. Greg Abbott said Saturday that Texas “is facing a very dangerous winter storm” over the coming days that will “make movement virtually impossible.”
He called the storm “unprecedented” in the state’s history.
“What becomes frozen will remain frozen for a long period of time,” Abbot said, according to KWTX.
Abbott also stated that all Texas Department of Transportation regions are working “24-7 around the clock” to address any challenges arising across the state.
The current storm system formed Friday night, stretching across much of the Ohio Valley and Appalachians into the Northeast. Texas issued a winter storm warning for the entire weekend and the early part of the coming week.
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The National Weather Service (NWS) predicted some parts of northern Texas to see as much as a foot of snow, with most of the state seeing at least a few inches.
Ice had already started forming on bridges and roadways by midmorning, the NWS Fort Worth tweeted.
Texas Storm Chasers predicted between two to five inches in Dallas, with totals closer to 6 inches in the northern part of the territory.
“Maximum cold weather preparations MUST be completed today,” Jeff Lindner, a Harris County Flood Control District meteorologist, tweeted Sunday morning. “Time is running out and conditions will quickly deteriorate late this afternoon and evening.”
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Road safety will be a top priority after Fort Worth saw a pileup involving over 130 vehicles, including 18-wheelers and passenger cars, which resulted in six deaths and dozens of injuries.
Authorities labeled the incident a “once in a lifetime” tragedy and will be keen to avoid a similar situation anywhere in the state.