Texas Ice Storm 2023: road closures, school closures, airline cancelations, and power outages
Much of Texas is under an ice or winter storm warning, with the National Weather Service warning that power could be lost... here is what you need to know to prepare.
Dozens of counties in Texas are under ice and winter storm warnings, with temperatures expected to fall below zero, creating dangerous conditions on the road and officials warning that residents could lose power.
Texans are warned to stay off the roads
Officials across the state are warning residents to stay off the roads as rain and sleet continue to fall in central Texas. Justin Michaels with The Weather Channel breaks down for viewers exactly why sleet can, at times, pose a more significant threat to drivers than snow.
To track dangerous conditions in your area, you can use a tool developed by the State of Texas. The site also tracks road closures that increase by the hour as the storm settles over the state.
These accidents followed a treacherous day of travel for many yesterday. For instance, outside Roanoke, heading west on the 114, two semi-trucks struggled to make it up a hill as conditions worsened on the roads.
Which areas are under an ice storm warning?
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued an ice storm warning, active through 2 February, for Dickens, Kent, King, and Stonewall counties. During this period, “travel is strongly discouraged,” and if trips must be taken, the NWS advises drivers to “keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.” Additionally, residents should prepare for possible power outages as the NWS expects a “significant ice accumulation on power lines and tree limbs [which] may cause widespread and long-lasting power outages.”
So far, no customers in these counties have lost power.
Which areas are under a winter storm warning?
Winter storm warnings are also active in over twenty countries through Thursday, 2 February.
The NWS says that “mixed precipitation, primarily in the form of freezing rain and/or sleet.”
These conditions will also create serious risks for drivers, with the possibility of half an inch of ice covering the roads on Tuesday and Wednesday as temperatures hover at or below freezing. Authorities advise drivers to “slow down and use extreme caution, particularly when approaching bridges and overpasses.” Authorities advise that emergency materials should be kept in the car, that only essential trips should be made, and that drivers should check the latest updates on road conditions before leaving the house.
How do I check if my school, college, or university is closed?
In Dallas, public schools will be closed on 31 January, and the district advised that parents and guardians stay home with their children and avoid unnecessary trips.
Additionally, public libraries around the city plan to open at noon on 31 January, but officials recommend calling ahead to make sure the branch you are headed to will open at all. University students at UT Austin, Texas State University, and other higher education institutions in the area have closed their campuses as well. For information about school closures outside of Dallas, check out HVUE’s comprehensive list.
How will airports be impacted by the storm?
The Federal Aviation Adminstration and airlines are already responding to the storm by canceling and delaying flights out of Texas’ major airports.
Flight cancellations to or from Texas airports | 31 January 2023
|Source: Flight Aware|
So far, very few delays and cancellations have been announced for Wednesday, 1 February, indicating that airports and airlines are responding to disruptions from the storm as they arise.
How can I track the storm?
The NWS will provide periodic updates and warnings on the storm as it progresses. Information in your area can be found on the NWS website.
For those in Dallas, following the city’s social media accounts can be helpful for local warnings and information on public services. Additionally, residents can subscribe here to emergency alerts issued by city officials.
To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?