As if there weren't already dangerous road conditions after days of a winter storm sweeping the hill country, freezing rain is now making it "near impossible" to drive.
The Austin area experienced freezing rain Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Freezing rain causes ice to form on the roads making for extremely dangerous conditions to drive on—worse than snow. The weather service urges residents to stay off the roads.
As of 7:10 a.m., temperatures are near or just above freezing, but ice on the ground could refreeze temperatures.
7:10 am update: Radar shows areas of moderate rain and freezing rain moving east of the metro cities. The abundant rainfall has brought many locations to near or above freezing, but also the abundant ice on the ground will likely refreeze temperatures #txwx pic.twitter.com/gon3WDU64b
— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) February 17, 2021
On Tuesday alone, Austin-Travis County EMS reported responding 1,323 calls for service. There were 31 traffic collisions with injuries, including 5 rollovers. Ice has also made for dangerous conditions outside of the vehicle as well, with the EMS responding to 104 falls due to ice. Bikers are also urged to take extra precaution and avoid cycling as ice can be hard to see.
#ATCEMS Incident Summary 2/16:
Today was another record breaking day, with #ATCEMSMedics & communications staff responding to 1,323 calls for service.
Austin, we know you're tired & cold, but we're almost out of the woods! Please help us help you, by staying home & staying safe! pic.twitter.com/lgdRL7XURd
— ATCEMS (@ATCEMS) February 17, 2021
And as they have for days now, the Texas Department of Transportation has treated highways, but slick spots are still expected as rain continues. If you must drive, you can view ice on roads on this live map.
Happening now: TxDOT crews hard at work testing equipment that will be used tonight along Austin area roadways. We continue to urge Texans to avoid travel. #ATXtraffic #TxDOTwx https://t.co/FA8rsSZvx9 pic.twitter.com/CNMLcMBjVU
— TxDOT Austin (@TxDOTAustin) February 17, 2021
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