ERCOT says power outages may continue through Tuesday to protect electric grid

Snowplows works to clear the road during a winter storm Sunday Feb. 14 2021 in Oklahoma City. Snow and ice blanketed large swaths of the U.S. on Sunday prompting canceled flights making driving perilous and reaching into areas as far south as Texas

"We could very well be in and out of this situation between now and Thursday", said Lanny Nickell, chief operating officer of the agency that manages the U.S. Southwest grid spanning 14 states.

The storms knocked out almost half the Texas wind power generation capacity on Sunday.

Responding to a request from Governor Greg Abbott, President Joe Biden granted a federal emergency declaration for all 254 counties in the state on Sunday, authorising U.S. agencies to coordinate disaster relief from severe weather in Texas. Rice University on Monday abruptly began offering vaccines on its closed Houston campus after Harris Health System told the school it had about 1,000 vaccines that "were going to go to waste", said Doug Miller, a university spokesman.

Lauren Schneider, a 24-year-old lab technician, was walking to a Dallas grocery store near her home Monday morning dressed in a coat, hat and face mask. Dallas, which was forecast to see a low of 2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 17 degrees Celsius) late Monday, will reach a high of 29 by Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

"I really didn't think it's would be this serious", Schneider said.

About 10,500 MW of customer load was shed at the highest point, enough power to serve approximately two million homes, it said, adding that extreme weather caused many generating units across fuel types to trip offline and become unavailable.

Melbourne starts snap virus lockdown, no crowds at Australian Open
Global flights to Melbourne will be stopped through Wednesday, after five en-route, with about 100 passengers, land on Saturday. Andrews se said the latest COVID-19 cases had nothing to do with the tennis quarantine program.

While temperatures are forecast to rise, the weather across the central US will remain extremely cold this week.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said parts of the Emerald City received a almost a foot of snow on Saturday as the city broke a record for snowiest day in decades with 8.9 inches of snow falling at Seattle's Sea-Tac Airport (where official snowfall records are kept) on Saturday Feb. 13, according to CNN affiliate KOMO.

Air travel was also affected. At DFW, the temperature was 4 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius) - 3 degrees (-16 degrees) colder than Moscow.

Forecasts call for heavy snow and freezing rain to spread across a larger swath of central and eastern sections of the country through Monday, with a storm front in the West likely to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow in the Cascades and northern Rockies through Tuesday, according to the weather service.

The storm arrived over a three-day holiday weekend that has seen the most USA air travel since the period around New Year's. However, that was still less than half the traffic of a year ago, before the pandemic hit with full force.

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