The intense cold continues in Central Texas, as Austin heads into some of the coldest days in over 20 years. A winter storm warning has gone into effect from this morning until Monday.
According to the National Weather Service, patchy freezing rain and sleet could occur into Saturday night, while a major winter storm is predicted on Sunday and Monday. On those days, up to two-tenths of an inch of ice accumulation is possible, while some areas may receive up to six inches of snow.
All parts of the city are feeling the impact of the weather in one way or another.
Due to icy road conditions, officials including Mayor Steve Adler have warned to stay cautious on roadways, only traveling when necessary. According to KXAN, Austin-Travis County EMS crews answered nearly 650 calls in a 24-hour period from noon on Thursday to the same time Friday for weather-related incidents.
As tree limbs fall on power lines and ice weighs them down, power outages are occurring throughout the city. As of 9:45 a.m., 1,200 Austinites were without power and 14 incidents required tree trimming.
A map of power outages in the city can be found here.
Adler said that Austin Energy is repairing the system as quickly as possible, but those who need a place to keep warm can head to the Palmer Events Center on 900 Barton Springs Road. The center opened at 10 a.m. Saturday, and an evening shelter is available upon request.
With growing concerns for the safety of homeless populations, Adler announced that cold weather shelters will operate 24/7 until further notice. Those seeking shelter can head to the Central Library, located at 710 W. César Chávez St., at 6 p.m. to be transported to shelters.
Austin Public Health has shut down all three COVID-19 vaccine clinics and will be canceling all appointments on Saturday due to inclement weather.
The 2,300 appointments set for today, which were all for second doses of the vaccine, will be rescheduled for next week.
The department will reach out through email or phone as conditions are monitored throughout the coming days, so those who had appointments do not need to contact APH to reschedule.
All of the appointments were for those who were administered their first dose between Jan. 11 and Jan. 16. The doses, when refrigerated, will remain viable for 30 days, and those taking the second dose can do so between 28 and 42 days after their first appointment, according to new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Mark Escott, interim public health authority for Austin-Travis County, said that it is important for the city to keep people safe from both hazardous weather conditions and COVID-19.
"We know this is frustrating and disappointing," Escott said. "The health and safety of our residents is our top priority and we want to ensure that we do not put people in harm's way while protecting them from COVID-19."
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So you want to buy a house?
To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.
Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.
So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.
Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.
Holland says that while the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is often mentioned in the media, the most popular loan that he's seeing now is a 7/1 adjustable rate mortgage, which has a fixed rate for 7 years and then adjusts every year based on market rates, with a limit on how much it can increase each year. The interest is amortized over a 30-year period. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) offer lower rates than fixed rate loans.
Here are the numbers, which are examples. In practice, exact numbers vary with a buyer's credit rating and overall financial situation, and with the rate, which can move up or down at any time.
- $650,000 home purchase price
- 7/1 ARM at 5.875%
- 5% down payment, equals $32,500
- 95% financed, equals $617,500
- $4,990 payment, including principle and interest (P&I), insurance, and property tax
- Typically, a borrower's debt to income ratio needs to be at or below 45%. So for this mortgage, a borrower, or borrowers, would need income of roughly $11,100/month, or $133,200/year. That number could be higher, depending on the buyer's outstanding credit balances on things like credit cards and car loans.
Holland says he's had a lot of clients approved for loans who were house hunting but have put that on hold, hoping prices come down.
Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
Right now, you can get the fourth night FREE when you book three nights with the promo code BONUS! Check out the Offers page for full details and more promo codes!