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Winter freeze leads to worsening road conditions, slowing EMS response times

(Christa McWhirter)

Icy road conditions continue to worsen as Austin ventures further into the polar vortex.

Despite roads all over the city having been pretreated in preparation for the winter storm, city officials say the drizzly weather and below-freezing temperatures have coated roads in a thin layer of ice.


According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there have been 34 minor car wrecks due to ice so far on Sunday.

Austin-Travis County EMS is reporting ice on all road surfaces and only expects conditions to worsen as temperatures drop. Due to the volume of incidents and dangerous driving conditions, emergency services may be delayed.

ATCEMS also reported that medics will only transport patients to the closest hospital due to severe weather and are using 4x4 and fire department vehicles to respond to 911 calls.

Driving is not advised but if you must drive, you can check road conditions here.

While at home, officials are warning to be careful even when going outside, as ice can be hard to spot on sidewalks and pavement; conserve energy in case of power outages and be careful when heating your home, not using stoves or ovens that may cause carbon monoxide gas.

Austin is expected to receive snow showers on and off for the rest of Sunday, so bundle up.

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