AVERY HARTMANSFEB 17, 2021, 3:16 AM
- Walmart has temporarily closed 500 stores nationwide due to severe winter storms.
- Parts of the South have been hit by snow, ice, and frigid temperatures since last week.
- Texas has been hit particularly hard, and President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency.
Walmart has temporarily closed more than 500 stores as an unprecedented winter storm pelts much of the southern half of the US.
According to a tracker on Walmart’s website, 501 stores are currently shut down, from Texas to Kentucky, due to Winter Storm Uri, which has dumped snow and ice and caused frigid temperatures in the South since last week.
“Due to winter storms in many areas of the US, we’re closing some locations for the safety of our associates and customers,” Walmart said in a tweet on Monday.
The company is continually updating a map of store closures on its website.
Many of the Walmart closures are concentrated in Texas, which has been battered by a winter storm that hit the region last Thursday. Icy conditions caused a 130-car pile-up on a highway near Fort Worth, leaving six people dead and over 60 injured. In response to the severe weather, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration on Friday for all 254 counties in Texas.
On Sunday, President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Texas, ordering that federal aid be sent to the region.
As of Monday, more than 3.6 million Texans were without power after the Electric Reliability Council of Texas started rolling blackouts across the state. Other Texas-based power providers have warned that demand for electricity during the storm has exceeded supply. The blackouts have since extended beyond Texas to Kansas, Missouri, and 12 other states.
The storm is now causing tornadoes in parts of Florida and Georgia, and three people were killed by a twister in North Carolina. The winter weather is expected to move through the Northeast on Tuesday, bringing up to 10 inches of snow to New England.
Now, a second storm is predicted to hit the South on Wednesday, bringing additional snow and ice to Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas.