2.7 million households without power as Texans wake up to cold

Customers whose homes are without electric power wait in line to purchase food and snacks at a gas station in Pflugerville

Better forecasting - both short-term and long-term - would help avoid catastrophic failures such as the current outages in Texas and other states, as would large-scale storage systems that can supply electricity when demand spikes and a greater diversity of power sources, Eftekharnejad and other experts said.

The weather has threatened to affect the nation's Covid-19 vaccination effort, with President Joe Biden's administration saying delays in vaccine shipments and deliveries were likely. Many school systems have delayed or canceled face-to-face classes. More than 100 million people live in areas under winter weather warnings, watches or advisories, and blackouts are expected to continue in some parts of the country for days. "There is ice everywhere", Nowell said, adding that she was frustrated by the lack of communication about rolling blackouts to conserve the power grid.

Michael Craig, an assistant professor of energy systems at the University of MI, said the events in California and Texas show that "what we have now is not going to do it in the face of climate change. The implementation of this load shed across the Entergy region will help ensure an adequate reserve margin, which helps ensure Entergy is better positioned to manage through additional extreme weather this week".

Austin Energy, the local power company, said almost 200,000 area customers were without electricity. In Oklahoma City, an Arctic blast plunged temperatures in the state's capital as low as 14 degrees below 0 (-25 Celsius).

Neil Chatterjee, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, also said on CNBC Wednesday that the power outages seem to be a combination of the extreme weather event coupled with a spike in demand for electricity, stating that he thinks "people are so quick to view things through partisan lenses".

"There probably needs to be better planning, because we're starting to see more extreme weather events across the country", she said, whether it's severe cold in Texas or the intense heat wave in California a year ago that fueled deadly wildfires.

On Tuesday, three people were found dead after a tornado hit a seaside town in North Carolina.

Texas officials said more than 400,000 doses due now will not arrive until at least Wednesday because of the storm.

Three people died and 10 were injured when the tornado tore through a golf course community and another rural area just before midnight Monday, destroying dozens of homes.

"The sky lit up and there was a lot of pop-pop-popping" and thunder, she said.

Authorities were reportedly struggling to clear roads, as they did not have snow plows because the state so rarely needs them. A MS man died after losing control of his vehicle, which overturned on an icy road Monday night near Starkville, Oktibbeha County coroner Michael Hunt said Tuesday.

Authorities said a fire that killed three young children and their grandmother in the Houston area was likely to have spread from the fireplace they were using to keep warm. And in OR, authorities on Tuesday confirmed the deaths four people last weekend in the Portland metro area of carbon monoxide poisoning. While it's true that some of Texas' windmills weren't properly prepared for a deep freeze, others were still overproducing power early in the story.

A man in Louisiana died when he hit his head after slipping on ice, and a 10-year-old Tennessee boy perished after he and his six-year-old sister fell through the ice into a pond on Sunday.

Several cities had record lows: In Minnesota, the Hibbing/Chisholm weather station registered minus 38 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 39 degrees Celsius).

At midday, more than 2,700 USA flights had been canceled, led by more than 800 at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and more than 700 at Bush Intercontinental in Houston.

Besides the rolling blackouts in Texas, there are more than 200,000 without power in the Appalachian states.

Republican politicians are using the widespread power outages in Texas to place false blame on renewable energy sources, but clean energy isn't what was fueling the majority of power plants that failed.