Adding to an eventful start to 2021, Central Texans experienced snow, bringing power outages, school closures and pictures of snowy Austin to social media.
A winter weather advisory went into effect for Travis County and surrounding areas at 6 a.m. Sunday by the National Weather Service. Rain poured until finally the first flurries hit North Austin early in the day. The city continued to be covered in a layer of white snow moving down to South Austin and eventually as south as San Antonio.
It snowed for multiple hours of the day, bringing up to six inches to some parts of Austin, when up to four were forecasted. It was an amount of snow not seen since the winter of 2004.
The snowfall weighed down on trees, which knocked down some branches on powerlines. By 3 p.m., Austin Energy reported 156 power outages, affecting about 37,000 Austinites.
Repairs occurred all day, but outages continue into the morning. Some traffic light signals have also been affected; the city asks all drivers to treat traffic signals as four-way stops when not working or blinking red.
While this tree limb didn't fall on a power line, you can see how snow accumulation on trees can weigh down limbs.… https://t.co/IEGjjXnnNQ— Austin Energy (@Austin Energy)1610325046.0
Shelters opened up by the city of Austin at 6 p.m. Sunday and will open again Monday. Single adults are directed to the Central Library and families to the Downtown Salvation Army Shelter. Everyone needing shelter will be screened for COVID-19 upon arrival.
The Texas Department of Transportation treated roads for icy conditions early Sunday and through the night to prevent ice from building up. However, with low temperatures, roads are icy into Monday morning, as seen on the TxDOT highway conditions site. Multiple car accidents have been reported Monday morning. North and northwest Austin residents are asked to avoid certain bridges and roads until 9 a.m.: 620, 360, 183, 45, 1431.
Our crews were out treating Austin area roadways today and will be working through the night to prevent ice buildup… https://t.co/DIeUyBdScN— TxDOT Austin (@TxDOT Austin)1610327473.0
Staying clear of icy roads and power outages, local schools opted for students and staff to stay home.
Austin ISD announced Sunday it would be completely remote Monday. IDEA Austin also decided to go remote.
Other school districts, including Eanes, Del Valle, Lake Travis, Round Rock, Leander and Pflugerville, canceled classes altogether.
While ice still appears on the ground into Monday, there is no more snow forecasted this week. Temperatures will be in the 40s Monday and dip into the 20s at night. The rest of the week will get slightly warmer, staying mostly in the 60s. Thursday will be the warmest day of the week with a high of 70 degrees.
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