Cold Weather Hobbles Auto Makers, Texas’ Restaurants and Grocers

Power outages and supply problems tied to the frigid weather in Texas and surrounding states are constraining operations at restaurants and supermarkets throughout the region and with auto makers’ nationwide.

Some residents say they have waited in long lines at grocery stores and gas stations. Bottled water is hard to find and frozen food at some stores without power has spoiled. Over 400,000 customers in Texas still had no power and millions of residents were under a boil-water notice on Thursday as another winter storm pounded covered much of the U.S. with snow, freezing rain and extreme cold.

H-E-B LP, a Texas supermarket chain, said it has shortened store hours and cut back on nonessential power usage, such as for lighting. The company placed purchase limits on some items, including water and propane tanks. Aldi Inc., another grocery chain, said Thursday that it reopened a Texas distribution center closed earlier in the week as snow and frigid temperatures descended across the southern U.S.

Meanwhile, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. each said they were cutting output at U.S. factories that produce some of their most profitable vehicles.

GM canceled work shifts in Arlington, Texas, where it makes big SUVs, and at its Silao, Mexico, factory, which produces Chevrolet and GMC pickups. Those vehicles already are in short supply and are GM’s biggest moneymakers. Production also has been disrupted at GM factories in Tennessee and Kentucky.


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