Ice covers trees and bushes outside Walmart during extreme cold weather in Cleveland, Mississippi, February 11, 2021.
Rory Doyle | Reuters
Hundreds of Walmart stores are temporarily closed as winter weather causes severe ice and power outages in Texas, the Southeast and other parts of the country.
The big-box retailer said 456 stores and clubs are closed as of midday Tuesday. That represents nearly 9% of Walmart’s more than 5,300 stores and Sam’s Club locations.
Other retailers and restaurants also kept stores shuttered or sent workers home due to the extreme weather. Kroger closed some locations and shortened hours at stores in Houston and Dallas, according to its website. Target kept 10 stores closed because of winter weather, with most of those in Texas, a company spokeswoman said.
In Texas, more than 4.2 million people woke up without power on Tuesday, as the state’s electric grid could not keep up with demand for heat during record-low temperatures. Cold temperatures, snow and freezing rain are forecast for many other regions, too, including New England, the Great Plains and Mississippi Valley, according to the National Weather Service.
The severe weather has disrupted service at FedEx’s hub in Memphis and caused package delays across the U.S., the company said. It has prevented pickup and delivery in certain cities, company spokeswoman Shannon Davis said. She said customers can monitor shipments and track the status of local service on the company’s website.
UPS Spokesperson Matthew O’Connor told CNBC that the company’s Worldport package hub in Louisville, Kentucky, and another regional hub in Dallas, Texas, have since reopened after temporarily closing Monday night due to the weather.
“We are always safety first in meeting our service commitments,” O’Connor said in an email. “That’s why, with 6-10″ of snow and ice forecast for Louisville last night, we took the unusual step of suspending Worldport sort operations and cancelling domestic inbound flights on Monday night, Feb. 15.”
— CNBC’s Noah Higgins-Dunn contributed to this story.