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Workers clear snow from a parking lot in Midland, Texas, U.S, on Monday. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Texas city of Abilene has had all of its water services shut off, as a deadly winter storm continues to pummel the state.

The latest: Over 4 million people across Texas were without power early Tuesday, as most of the state faced single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chill, according to the national utility tracker poweroutage.us.

  • Water services in Abilene, west of Dallas, were shut off at 7pm "as a result of power outages from both power sources at all three of its water treatment plants," per a city statement.
  • There's no estimate for when power and water would be turned back on in the city of 123,000.
  • Law enforcement found two men dead at roadways in the Houston area, per AP.

For the record: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced the state was deploying personnel to help local officials clear the streets and assist essential workers.

  • He also ordered members of the National Guard "to conduct welfare checks and to assist local authorities" in moving people to warming centers.

The Department of Energy issued an order authorizing Texas power plants to work at maximum capacity, a move that could "result in a violation of limits of pollution," Bloomberg reports.

  • The Electric Reliability Council of Texas requested the order "to preserve the reliability of bulk electric power system.
  • The weather event was "expected to result in record winter electricity demand that will exceed even ERCOT’s most extreme seasonal load forecasts," it noted.

The big picture: Large swaths of the country, including the southeast up through the central U.S., under a winter storm warning, according to the National Weather Service.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What else is happening: The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said early Monday that it would begin rotating outages due to extreme weather to take generators offline.

  • There were reports of road closures throughout the state, including in Houston and San Antonio, with freezing temperatures expected for at least the next day.
  • Several airports across the state announced flights would be canceled or postponed on Monday due to the conditions.
    • The Hobby Airport in Houston said its airfield "will remain closed" through Tuesday.
    • The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport announced that all flights were canceled and recommended that travelers contact their specific airlines to handle flight details.

Of note: "The barrage of storminess and extreme cold can be traced back to an early January disruption of the polar vortex, which allowed lobes of extreme cold to ebb south over North America, Europe and Asia," the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reports.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details, including the two deaths, news from Abilene and the latest information on the power outages.

Go deeper

Updated Feb 17, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Record-setting cold snap turns deadly

Transmission towers support power lines above the frozen over Clear Fork of the Trinity River after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

More than 5 million people remained without power on Tuesday as a series of deadly winter storms brought snow to Houston and historically low temperatures across the plains states.

The latest: At least 20 people are reported dead, per AP, and snow, sleet and freezing rain pounded the Northeast, leaving icy damage in its wake. Temperatures throughout the middle portion of the U.S. fell to century-lows.

14 states warned of possible power cuts amid extreme weather

Southwest Power Pool, which manages the electric grid and wholesale power market for 14 central states, said Monday that it directed its members to begin controlled power outages.

The state of play: SPP will implement "controlled interruptions of service" to prevent uncontrolled power cuts as states across the region face an aggressive winter storm.

Updated Feb 16, 2021 - Science

In photos: Snow and ice blanket much of the U.S.

Vehicles and people traverse through snow and ice in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Over 150 million Americans are under winter storm warnings, as a subfreezing cold snap sweeps across the U.S., bringing with it heavy snow and dangerous, icy conditions.

The big picture: Hundreds of flights have been canceled and millions were without power across the U.S. Monday. Controlled outages were scheduled to take place in 14 central states to prevent uncontrolled cuts amid record freezing conditions. At least two people have died in Texas during the storm.