Winter weather in Austin: Some roads closed, H-E-B hours reduced, travel ‘difficult to near impossible’
On February 14th, snow falls on Rogge Lane in East Austin. (Jack Flagler / Community Impact Newspaper)
A wintry mix began to fall in the Austin area on the evening of February 14th and turned to snow by the wee hours of February 15th. According to the National Weather Service, the winter storm made travel “difficult or nearly impossible”. With 3 to 4 inches of snowfall expected and temperatures in the single digits, the icy road conditions will remain until Tuesday, according to NWS. Both Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown have declared a local state of disaster.
Austin Community College, Huston-Tillotson University, St. Edward’s University and The University of Texas All courses have been canceled until at least February 16. St. Edward’s and UT said they will be closed until February 8th at 5pm. Huston-Tillotson has also canceled courses through February 17th.
Austin ISD Classes all went virtual on February 13th. Students were absent for Presidents’ Day on February 15, and the district has not yet made an announcement regarding the February 16 class.
Austin emergency management established the Palmer Events Center at 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin as a warmth center for those who need a place to get away from the cold. People who report to the heat center can also receive transport to an animal shelter on request to spend the night there. Families seeking shelter to stay overnight should report to the Downtown Salvation Army Shelter, 501 E. Eighth St., Austin.
Austin Energy reports fewer than 100 customers without power on Feb. 13 after tens of thousands of Austinites suffered outages on Feb 11 and 12.
Austin Resource Recovery Collection for trash, recycling, composting and other roadside services continues to be suspended. Customers are being asked to leave their uncollected carts on the curb so that the city’s crews can catch up, which the ARR says will happen during the week and through the weekend of February 20-21.
Baylor Scott & White Clinics in the Austin area will practically be operational on February 15 and all COVID-19 testing sites will be closed, but hospitals will remain open.
Capital metro The public transport company will not operate any services such as MetroRail, MetroExpress and UT Shuttle until February 16. All tariffs will be suspended until February 16 to get the drivers out of the cold and to their destination as quickly as possible.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has closed all toll roads until further notice. The Mobility Authority operates the following toll roads: 183A Toll from south of San Gabriel Parkway to RM 620; 290E toll from US 183 east of Parmer Lane, including direct links; 183S toll from US 290 to SH 71, including direct connections; 71E toll from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to SH 130; 45SW toll from FM 1626 to MoPac; Toll lanes of the MoPac Express from Lady Bird Lake to Parmer Lane.
The Texas Electrical Reliability Council (ERCOT) urges Texans to reduce electricity consumption as much as possible by February 16. To reduce power consumption, you need to turn the thermostat down to 68 degrees and turn off and unplug unnecessary lights and devices.
HEB has adjusted the opening times for all branches nationwide. In the Austin area, stores open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on February 15th.