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Winter Storm Warning: power outages, shelters and vaccine appointments canceled
(National Weather Service)

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.

Staying safe

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.

If you must drive, you can view what roads have ice on them here, while local roadway conditions will be updated on Austin Transportations Twitter.

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.

Vaccine Appointments

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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