A severe ice storm that has swept through parts of the south has been blamed for two road deaths and caused hundreds of flight cancellations, authorities said Tuesday.

In the early afternoon, the storm stretched from the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area to Memphis, Tennessee, with officials in both cities urging motorists to stay put until Thursday, if possible, when the front breaks out. .

Two deaths have been attributed to the storm.

A 45-year-old man was ejected from the 1997 Toyota 4Runner he was driving after apparently losing control on an icy overpass in Arlington, Texas, on Monday, police said. He died in a hospital.

In Austin, one person has died after a weather-related multi-vehicle collision, according to Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.

“Almost all of the crashes we are responding to right now are weather related,” said a spokesperson for Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services. “Basically all of the causeways and overpasses in the Austin area and Travis County are covered in ice.”

Dallas-Fort Worth set a new daily record for snow accumulation Tuesday, with 1.3 inches of precipitation measured near the metropolis’ main airport. The agency said the record was achieved with sleet, not snow, and maintains that this exceeds the 1.2 inches of snow measured on January 31, 1985.

The weather made air travel hard work, with hundreds of cancellations and delays affecting local carriers American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The online flight tracker reported a total of 1,024 cancellations covering those and other airlines that fly within the United States and abroad. reported flight.

He Federal Aviation Administration warned that freezing rain and ice may continue to slow flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International and Memphis International Airports.

As temperatures hovered in the 20s Tuesday night, nearly 30,000 utility customers in Texas lost power, according to the Power Network Tracker. poweroutage.us.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during a news conference that while some local outages are expected, there won’t be any major problems with the power grid.

Ice storm ‘prolonged and significant’

The ice storm was expected to be «prolonged and significant» and to «continue to affect a large area from the southern Plains to the Tennessee Valley,» according to the National Weather Service.

He said the «dangerous» ice storm is expected to continue at least until early Thursday, bringing cold air, freezing rain and sleet, along with chaos and travel delays.

«A widespread total ice accumulation of greater than 0.25» is likely from west Texas to western Tennessee, with localized areas receiving up to 0.75, the weather service said. It warned that that amount of ice could lead to dangerous travel conditions, along with tree damage and scattered power outages in the hardest-hit regions.

Sleet accumulations of around a half-inch or more are also possible from West Texas to Arkansas, which the weather service says could lead to «treacherous» travel conditions.

«Patchy areas of sleet and freezing drizzle continue to move across north and central Texas this afternoon,» the weather service office in Forth Worth said. tweeted Tuesday in the afternoon. «It is recommended to stay off the roads during this event as conditions worsen.»

Soldiers from the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade in Lowell, Ark., brace as inclement weather hits the region Monday.Arkansas National Guard

The National Weather Service office covering the Memphis area reported that «a thick layer of ice» had covered the streets and vegetation in Bartlett, Tennessee, Tuesday afternoon.

Ice storm warnings, winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories have been issued in the affected areas, he said, advising travelers to check road conditions before heading anywhere and to drive with extreme caution.

Hundreds of roads affected

During a news conference Tuesday, Abbott said the state could even see possible flash flooding Wednesday and Thursday in central, east and southeast Texas.

Abbott also urged residents to avoid highways due to dangerous icing, adding that approximately 1,600 highways in the state have been affected by the storm.

«Due to the icing, many roads in Texas will continue to be very dangerous for the next 24 to 48 hours,» he said. «Be careful, especially with things like black ice.»

In Fort Worth, MedStar ambulance service responded to 151 car accidents within 34 hours of the winter storm, spokesman Matt Zavadsky said. Nineteen of those crashes were rollovers.

MedStar also responded to 13 patients suffering from hypothermia. Twelve patients were transported to local hospitals with seven in serious condition. The ambulance service also reported that 11 patients were injured after slipping on the ice.

The storm is expected to head northeast

The storm moved in from the Pacific over the weekend and is heading in a northeasterly direction, federal forecasters said. Tuesday produced a line of freezing precipitation and frost warnings from West Texas to West Virginia.

A third round of freezing precipitation was expected Wednesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Ted Ryan said.

It was expected to hit northwestern Georgia on Thursday, federal forecasters said.

The front has drawn in arctic air from the north, helping it produce a steady amount of sleet and freezing rain. Temperatures also held steady as cloud cover insulated the weather overnight.

Temperatures in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were expected to stay near 20 degrees during the day, Ryan said.

«We’re having arctic moisture lifted over the shallow air mass and precipitating as this sleet and freezing rain mix together,» he said.