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Mexico Cancels Offer to Send Electricity to Texas as Severe Cold Blasts Both

A shopper makes their way down a darkened grocery store aisle in Plano, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. The cold has forced rolling blackouts across Texas.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A shopper makes their way down a darkened grocery store aisle in Plano, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. The cold has forced rolling blackouts across Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)  (AP2011)

Mexico intended to help Texas after a severe storm caused blackouts throughout the south, but the proposed partnership to fight the bone-chilling weather together is on hold -- for now.

Mexico said Thursday it was temporarily suspending an offer to provide electricity to Texas to help the U.S. state weather an ice storm that forced rolling blackouts, because of severe cold in Mexico's own territory.

Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission had said Wednesday it had agreed to transmit 280 megawatts of electricity to Texas.

But on Thursday, the commission said it was temporarily suspending the transfer because below-freezing temperatures in northern Mexico have caused some damage to the generating capacity of its own plants, causing some power outages in several parts of Chihuahua state and a reduction of about 3,800 megawatts in generation.

The commission also said Mexico needed to ensure there was enough electricity to meet domestic demand, in the face of a severe cold snap that dumped snow on the border city of Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas.

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The National Meteorological Service said wind chill in Ciudad Juarez could drop to minus-4 degrees (-20 Celsius). It said the cold front could also send snow into other border cities, including Matamoros, Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, to the east of Ciudad Juarez, over the coming week.

The service said the front could also cause storms along Mexico's Gulf coast.

In Texas, rolling blackouts have been implemented, including in Super Bowl host city Dallas, due to high demand during the rare ice storm.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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