Austinites wake to power outages as Winter Storm Warning is extended through Thursday
The Winter Storm Warning for Central Texas has been extended until 6 am Thursday, and Austin is experiencing widespread power outages as a result. Light freezing rain and drizzle created significant travel issues on elevated roads through Tuesday, while a heavier round of freezing rain overnight into Wednesday morning brought significant icing to much of Central Texas.
Travel conditions Wednesday morning will be the worst of the week. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) began pretreating bridges and overpasses on major Austin roads on Sunday in preparation for the expected icy conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday. Even so, crashes and closures have been reported as roads remain slick.
Officials are warning residents to stay off the roads if they can because of icy conditions. If you must drive, take it slow. If a signal is dark, treat it as a four-way stop. An interactive map of road closures and a list of H-E-B closures can also be found on KVUE's website.
Through mid- and late morning Wednesday, temperatures remain below freezing for much of Central Texas with pockets of heavy freezing rain possible for western Travis, western Williamson and parts of the Hill Country. On Tuesday, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell issued a disaster declaration, which activates the recovery and rehabilitation aspects of the Williamson County Emergency Management Plan and allows the County to take all legal actions necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of county residents, Williamson County said in a release.
By late afternoon Wednesday, warmer air will begin moving into the Austin metro. This could begin to ease icing concerns for the late day. However, for the northern I-35 corridor and Hill Country temperatures will remain below freezing, and this means icing issues could persist into Thursday morning, which is when the last round of precipitation moves through.
KVUE is continuing to update its list of weather-related school closures across the area.
Read the full versions of these stories and watch the videos at KVUE.com.