Austin, Texas: A deadly winter storm some forecasters say is the worst to hit the United States in years slammed the nation's midsection on Friday, hitting travel and knocking out power for hundreds of thousands of customers.
The line of ice, snow and freezing temperatures stretched from the Texas-Mexico border northeast to the Ohio Valley, with the most severe conditions near Dallas, then punching through Arkansas and western Kentucky, according to forecasters at AccuWeather.com.
Residents of large cities and small towns hunkered down against the storm. Many were without power as broad outages were reported through Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, according to local utilities.
At the height of the storm, some 267,000 outages were reported in the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone, according to utility provider Oncor, but that number was down to about 208,000 by Friday afternoon.
More than 1,900 flights were canceled on Friday, according to online flight trackers.
First-time air traveler Madison Cunningham, 18, was stranded for more than 12 hours overnight in the Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport when ice prevented her flight home to Indianapolis.
"I'm never going to fly again," said Cunningham. "I'll take the train next time."
The travel troubles also delayed commerce, as the United Parcel Service, the nation's largest package delivery company, said deliveries have been disrupted in Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico and the panhandle portion of Texas on Friday.
UPS staff meteorologists are tracking the storm closely, said UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg, and the company may try to reroute some of its delivery network and use more rail.