The hardest hit states of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri will see up to one inch of ice coating trees and roads — making travel impossible and potentially bringing power outages to millions of residents this weekend.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties on Thursday.
In Kansas and Missouri, nearly 200 National Guard soldiers gear up to provide emergency response assistance to local authorities.
A motorist died Friday after she lost control of her vehicle on an icy overpass while driving on Interstate 55 in southeastern Missouri, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The National Weather Service in Wichita, Kansas, strongly discourages travel, saying, “Significant amounts of ice accumulations will make travel dangerous or impossible” and that “commerce will likely be significantly impacted.”
Ice accumulations ranging from a half inch to an inch can cause significant damage to trees and bring down power lines for widespread areas.
The temperature will be hovering around the freezing mark for long periods of time and will likely move several hundred miles north and south on Saturday and Sunday. This will bring a variety of precipitation types to many locations, often turning from rain, to freezing rain and ice, and back to rain again several times.
The Kansas City Chiefs will now host the Pittsburgh Steelers at 8:20 pm ET on Sunday, according to the NFL, as opposed to the previously scheduled start time of 1:05 p.m. ET, due to “public safety concerns in light of the forecasted storm.”
Kansas City will see significant icing through the morning on Sunday, changing over to rain early in the afternoon. Moving the game back seven hours should alleviate the danger of driving on icy roads for those traveling to the game.