March 6, 2021

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Texas power grid was ‘seconds or minutes’ away from catastrophic failure, officials say

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FedEx planes are parked at Nashville International Airport on February 16.
FedEx planes are parked at Nashville International Airport on February 16. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

United Parcel Service says it has “extensive contingency plans” to complete coronavirus vaccine deliveries, in spite of the massive winter storm. 

It says it is still making pickups and deliveries “where conditions allow” for safe operation. 

“We are in regular and frequent contact and tight partnership with federal agencies, vaccine manufacturers, and others in the supply chain,” UPS spokesperson Glenn Zaccara told CNN, adding that the company is in “often hourly” talks and “weather conditions only amplify our coordination.”

UPS says its Worldport air operations hub in Louisville, Kentucky, is running again after operations were suspended Monday because of the severe weather – a first in the facility’s history.

FedEx tells CNN that coronavirus vaccine deliveries are getting priority – and it is working with those waiting on shipments – but “prolonged severe weather is continuing to impact much of the FedEx network.”

On Wednesday, FEMA said the weather was having “limited impacts” on vaccine shipments in some states – Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana.

UPS says if a delivery is delayed, it makes alternative arrangements with customers on how to complete the delivery. Each individual vaccine shipment is monitored via GPS from the company’s health care network command center.

“In most cases, these packages can still be delivered as soon as roads are safely passable and businesses are open to receive them,” Zaccara said.

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