Editor’s Note: This live blog is no longer being updated.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Freezing temperatures dissipated in Austin and in Central Texas but power outages have continued to be an issue for the area.
Several roads and overpasses had been shut down at one point as a result of winter weather.
On Wednesday, Feb. 1, several thousand people were without power nearly all day. A week later, 99% of Austin Energy’s customers finally have power back. As of 10:30 a.m., there were still 2,428 without.
- KXAN First Warning Weather forecast updates
- Download the KXAN First Warning Weather App
- How to check for Central Texas power outages
- Central Texas webcams
- How you can monitor Texas’ power grid online
- Tips for staying warm when the power is out
- How to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter freeze
- How to tell if your food is spoiled after a power outage
- How to take ReportIt weather photos like a pro — and get them on TV
City of Austin Resources
Those who remain without power or can no longer afford to stay in a hotel and need a place to shower or sleep, dial 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 to request overnight stays with Austin 311.
Once a shelter request is made with Austin 311, residents will receive a call back from City of Austin personnel between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with information on next steps.
The public is encouraged to help local government agencies get a full assessment of damage impacts from the storm. Individuals are able to report their impacts through the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT). Report ice storm impacts through the iSTAT survey here.
Red Cross: Residents can call 1-800-RED-CROSS to request help when they have been impacted by a disaster.
Development Services Department
The Development Services Department is continuing to provide emergency repair resources for homeowners and businessowners at https://www.austintexas.gov/emergency-permits.
Inspectors are available 24/7 for some emergency repairs. Call 512-974-2030 for electrical inspections or 512-974-1520 for plumbing and gas inspections.
Follow live updates in our live blog below:
Wednesday, Feb. 8 updates
Austin is still picking up the pieces after the recent freeze and that’s one reason why the city is looking to help.
On Wednesday, organizations from across Austin came together at Montopolis Recreation Center to offer any support they could for people in need.
99.5% of Austin Energy customers’ power has been restored. 2,428 customers remain without power.
City leaders plan to hold another news conference Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. to update residents on storm recovery and show how multi-agency resources are designed to help the community recover.
You can watch the conference live on KXAN.com.
Tuesday, Feb. 7 updates
City crews are working to clear debris throughout Austin after last week’s ice storm.
The city said close to 200 employees from the Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments were clearing the public right of way of downed trees and debris.
Austin Resource Recovery is another department tasked with cleaning up debris. Deputy Director Richard McHale said, as of Tuesday, it had more than 13,000 service orders.
Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk apologizes for “shortcomings” in ice storm response.
Cronk made the following remarks at Council Work Session on Tuesday morning:
The impact of this event has been profound, and I understand that many have suffered as a result. As a father with two children of my own, I have no doubt that there are many other parents who struggled caring for their families in these unfair and unbearable circumstances.
Now, I feel like we’ve become a little desensitized to the word “unprecedented” over the past few years, but this storm truly was historic in so many ways. As the chairman of the state’s Public Utility Commission described it, an ice hurricane swept through our community with a brutal and unyielding force. The storm caused widespread power outages and have left many of you without heat and electricity. I acknowledge, share, and feel your frustration and anger.
Every storm is different and presents its own unique challenges. For this disaster, we have already learned many lessons and we will do better. I am certain of it. We are still in the midst of recovery, but we will analyze every step of this event and implement changes that will make us better prepared for the next natural disaster and ensure we can protect, inform and assist our residents. Moving forward, we are committed to improving our response and supporting you in the face of these challenges. We will be working closely with meteorologists and other experts to better understand the factors that contributed to this weather event, and to develop more effective strategies for responding to similar incidents in the future. We will also be reviewing our budget and resources to determine what improvements we can make in order to better serve our community in the face of these types of emergencies.
As a community and as a wider society, we are only just beginning to understand the destructive impact that these extreme weather events will have on our lives in the years to come. No amount of preparation or planning can entirely shield us from the destructive side of nature, and it is important to be transparent about our limitations and to work together to find solutions.
As we are still in the middle of responding to this emergency and with more weather on the way, my focus continues to be on supporting the recovery efforts. Austin Energy has coordinated the largest collaborative effort in the city’s history, with utilities from as far away as Louisiana and Alabama arriving to help restore power to customers. We have more than 1,000 crew members working on the remaining power outages.
Once again, I offer my heartfelt apologies for any shortcomings in our response. I want you to know that I am committed to doing everything in my power to support our community. As we weather this storm and those to come, we will be stronger together.Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk
Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk, officials from Austin Resource Recovery, Austin Public Works and Austin Transportation will be in attendance, according to a press release.
8,853 Austin Energy customers are still without power. Forecasted strong winds, rain, and scattered thunderstorms are causing worry among city leaders while restoration is still underway for those without electricity.
In a press release Tuesday morning, the City of Austin said a bout of bad weather expected overnight Tuesday and early Wednesday morning could further destabilize compromised trees and power lines, risking additional power outages and complicating restoration efforts.
Forecasted rain showers and scattered thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and night – some of which may be strong to severe – could combine with damaging gusts of wind up to 35 mph to place additional stress on already weakened tree branches and bring them into contact with energy infrastructure such as power lines, power poles, and transformers.
“Our trees are vulnerable after the winter storm and may have broken limbs high up in their branches that cannot be seen easily,” said Juan Ortiz, Director of the City’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “With strong wind in the forecast, additional tree limbs may fall, potentially creating further damage and causing new outages. That’s why we’re asking people to be extra attentive today, and to bear with us while we address new challenges as they arise.”
Residents are urged to:
- Be aware of their surroundings when out walking or in their yard.
- Do not leave pets or children unsupervised under trees.
- When possible, do not park vehicles under trees.
The Austin Transportation Department has reduced the number of dark or flashing signals to four, down from a total of 118 at its peak.
Temporary stop signs are installed at all the dark signals that do not have battery backup to put the signal in flash. Those dark or flashing signals are located at:
- Exposition Boulevard and Westover Road
- Davis Lane and Brodie Lane
- West 45th Street and Ramsey Avenue
- Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Comal Street
During a news conference Monday afternoon, leaders from Austin Energy shared there are now more than 1,000 utility workers working to restore power to the remaining homes that still do not have lights. At least 630 of those crew members are from Austin Energy itself, while other utility companies across the state sent more than 400 workers to assist with the ongoing effort.
Craig Brooks, Austin Energy’s director of operations who’s overseeing those providing mutual aid, told reporters Monday that crews are dealing with a few “irate customers.” During one incident, he said workers had to call Austin police after receiving threats for working near someone’s property. He did not specify where or when this happened, though.
We’ve put together photo galleries of some of the photos we received from viewers showing ice across Central Texas, as well as extensive tree damage. Check them out here.
Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk’s employment will be “evaluated” at a special-called Austin City Council meeting Thursday morning.
There is only one item listed on the agenda. “Evaluate the terms and conditions of the City Manager’s employment with the City of Austin,” the agenda states.
The discussion will be held in an executive session, according to the meeting agenda, meaning behind closed doors.
Austin Mayor Kirk Watson wrote on Twitter Monday he added the emergency item to the agenda “because the management of this situation and the lack of clear and timely and accurate communication has left our community in the dark. It is unacceptable. The City of Austin can and will do better.”
Cronk was at a media conference Monday to discuss winter weather cleanup. KXAN’s Grace Reader asked for his response to the meeting.
“I serve at the pleasure of this new mayor and council and I’ll be having that conversation with them on Thursday. I’m here to make sure that we are responding directly to this weather event. That’s been my sole focus. I’m very grateful of our incredible city staff that have been doing the same. I am laser-focused on getting power restored to all of our customers and to ensure that we’re getting through this weather event successfully,” Cronk said.
Austin Resource Recovery Director Ken Snipes said the level of debris connected to this storm is coming at “unprecedented levels.”
Snipes said 50 crews are out collecting Monday morning. ARR brought on three additional contractors with about 10 crews each.
ARR is asking people to move their cars away from the debris areas.
All but one Austin Independent School District campuses opened on Monday, Feb. 6.
Hill Elementary School is still without power and is being hosted at Padron Elementary School, located at 2011 W. Rundberg Lane.
27,028 Austin Energy customers are still without power.
The City of Austin said it and its partners have been working through the weekend to provide resources for those still without power or who were otherwise impacted.
An emergency shelter, food distribution, and a mobile charging station are now available, according to the city. Details are above.
The Austin Transportation Department said that as of Sunday night at 8 p.m., 26 of the city’s 1,100+ traffic signals remained dark.
Drivers are reminded to approach all intersections with caution and treat all dark traffic signals as an all-way stop. Crews have placed temporary stop signs at four major intersections where the traffic signals are not operational.
ATD staff individually checked all the city’s nearly 600 flashing school zone signals Sunday, Feb. 5, resetting as many as possible. Drivers should treat all school zones as active when school resumes this morning—even if the lights are not flashing—and adhere to posted school zone speed limits. The hours for school zones vary by the school but are generally between 7 and 10 a.m. and 3 and 5 p.m. If you see a dark school zone signal, please report the outage to 3-1-1.
Residents who are driving on Austin roads are asked to remember to slow down and move over for any utility crews working in the field to restore power.
Round Rock ISD said Forest North Elementary will be closed Monday because of a power outage. The district said Austin Energy indicated it will not have power restored before Monday morning.
The campus will have curbside meals available for Forest North students from 8-10 a.m.
“The decision to close was made to ensure the safety of students and staff at Forest North. We are continuing to work with Austin Energy to restore power so campus operations may hopefully resume on Tuesday, Feb. 7,” RRISD tweeted late Sunday.
Hill Elementary students and staff will report to Padrón Elementary for school Monday as their campus remains without power. Austin ISD said students will get breakfast and lunch. Regular buses will take students to Padrón.
More information is shared on AISD’s website.
Austin ISD’s Perez Elementary has power again, the district tweeted Sunday afternoon. The school will return to its normal schedule. AISD’s Hill Elementary School is still without power. The district said it will communicate alternative plans to families and staff.
Austin Community College said power is restored to all campuses. ACC campuses will run on regular schedules Monday.
Eanes ISD tweeted they will reopen Monday with all schools back online.
Thrall ISD said power is back at its campuses, but school will start on a two-hour delay Monday. It said there is a lot of debris on county roads, so the delay will give drivers daylight on their commutes.
Earlier Sunday, the district said TISD and the city have had no power since the storm.
About 36,000 Austin Energy customers remain without power, as of 3:40 p.m. Sunday. That means about 93% of customers have power.
Austin Energy is offering a charging bus at the Burger Center today until 5 p.m. It is located at 3200 Jones Road on the southeast side of the football stadium. Phones, medical devices and other devices can be charged.
Round Rock ISD announced Sunday nearly all school campuses and offices will reopen Monday. Only Forest North Elementary School remains without power. Campus families and staff will receive updates on campus operations Sunday afternoon.
All other campuses and district offices will resume normal operations Monday. Students or staff still experiencing outages or related issues are asked to contact their campus or supervisor regarding absences Monday.
Lake Travis ISD announced Sunday afternoon that all campuses and instruction will resume normal operations Monday. Cafeterias are fully stocked and transportation services will run as scheduled.
For students and staff without electricity and/or water, students will be excused with a parent or guardian note and are asked to keep in contact with the student’s campus to help get them caught him. Staff absences must be reported in Absence Management and marked as a local or personal day. Officials added the neutral absence policy will be waived for winter storm-related absences.
Students have two days included in the instructional calendar and won’t need to make up those missed days due to the storm. Officials added they are expecting to receive updated information from the Texas Education Agency this week on how the remaining two days will be handled.
On the staff end of things, they are requesting the school board waive all four missed days and do not require staff to make up those work days later this school year. STAAR interim exams will also be delayed and are expected to be rescheduled before spring break. Those new dates will be communicated directly to parents.
Below are the number of customers without power from each service provider:
Austin Energy: 39,326
Austin ISD said it would be open Monday with a regular school schedule. As of 11 a.m., Austin ISD officials said only two elementary campuses remain without power.
If power isn’t restored by Sunday afternoon, officials said Hill and Perez elementary families and staff will receive an email by 5 p.m. detailing alternative campus options for Monday, as well as details on transportation and after-school care.
Taylor ISD said it would be open Monday with a regular school schedule.
SEU also said it would resume normal operation Monday.
“Faculty and supervisors are asked to work with students and staff who are still affected by storm impacts,” SEU said.
Austin Energy: 39,997
In an update, Austin ISD said two district schools still did not have power. AISD said the schools were Hill Elementary and Perez Elementary.
“If they don’t get power this afternoon, we’ll notify those staff and families by 5 pm with details for Monday,” AISD said.
Austin Energy: 41,350
Lower Colorado River Authority said it would be using a helicopter in parts of far north and northwest Austin beginning Sunday for telecommunication line repairs and inspection.
Austin Energy: 42,158
Austin-Travis County EMS said medics continue to see injuries during clean-up from the storm.
“Over the last couple of days, we transported at least 12 patients. Injuries primarily as a result of falls while cutting trees (6), being hit by falling limbs (4), and other traumatic injuries,” ATCEMS said.
Austin Energy said they will be sharing details of events happening “throughout the week” where residents can charge their electronic devices and medical equipment as well as learn about Austin Energy’s medically vulnerable program and other financial assistance resources.
Austin Energy said it would host a community event Sunday at Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, 2200 Justin Lane, until 1 p.m. for people without power to charge phones and other devices. The utility said people would need to bring their own cords.
CapMetro said all of its transit was operating regular service, and CapMetro Rail would resume service Monday.
“CapMetro crews have worked throughout the week to ensure the safety and reliability of our service, and we are now able to return to full operational capacity,” CapMetro said.
Austin Energy: 42,034
Austin Energy representatives along with City Manager Spencer Cronk will host a briefing at 3 p.m. Sunday for the latest operational statuses on the city’s winter response. Those will be livestreamed online in English and Spanish.
Additionally, Austin Energy said utility crews restored power to more than 34,000 more customers Saturday, with a total of 300,485 customers restored since the beginning of the weather event.
“Currently, there are about 1,600 outages affecting 45,000 customers. More than 600 workers from Austin Energy and other utilities are working around the clock to restore power,” Austin Energy said.
Austin Energy: 43,027
Pedernales Electric said crews worked through the night to restore power and were now ahead of schedule.
“If your neighbor has power but you don’t, check to see if your breaker is tripped. If not, they may receive electricity from a different feeder or transformer,” PEC said.
The utility said as of 9 a.m., it was managing 4,600 outages, and 98.7% of members have power.
“Note: We are aware some member locations may not be identified on the list and are addressing those outages as well,” PEC said.
As of 9 a.m. Sunday, Austin Energy said more than 92% of utility customers have power, with restorations to 300,485 customers since the beginning of the storm.
Austin Energy: 44,700
Austin Water said it has extended hours for brush drop-offs for Sunday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Austin Water – Hornsby Bend Biosolids Treatment Plant on 2210 S FM 973.
Austin Energy: 45,067
Austin Energy: 44,971
Bluebonnet: Fully restored
About 5,000 Pedernales Electric Cooperative customers in Leander are now without power after a car crashed into a pole on US 183 and took out the pole and lines, a PEC spokesperson said.
Crews are on the way to the area, and there is no current restoration time estimate.
PEC said it encourages people to move over and slow down when driving near crews and utility vehicles. The electric provider said to watch out for debris, poles, downed power lines and other hazards on the road.
Austin and Travis County residents can take storm debris to the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant at 2210 FM 973, Austin. The city said more drop-off locations will be created and those locations will be shared online.
Debris includes large tree limbs, small and large branches, shrubs and leaves.
If you see a tree touching a power line, call 512-322-9100 to report it.
More information about debris drop-off and pick-up can be found online.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration Saturday for seven counties impacted by the ice storm this week.
Counties included are Denton, Hays, Henderson, Milam, Smith, Travis and Williamson, but more counties may be added. The release said infrastructure repairs, debris disposal and damage assessments are underway and ongoing.
“Through this disaster declaration, we will be able to provide additional assistance to Texans and communities who have experienced property damage and localized power outages from this ice storm,” Abbott said in the release.
Austin Energy: 69,167
Austin ISD said most district schools and offices would operate normally Monday.
“As of 1 pm Saturday, 7 schools remain without power: Andrews, Hill, Joslin, Perez, Pillow, Ridgetop, St. Elmo. We’ll provide an update by noon Sunday if we need to use alternative plans for those campuses,” the district said.
Austin Energy: 71,266
Austin Emergency Management department issued a reminder for people to refill used supplies from their emergency supply kit if it was used during the freezing weather.
“Be sure to replenish used supplies and check your kit for expired items, including medications,” Austin HSEM said.
TxDOT said Loop 360 would be closed Sunday morning while utility companies make permanent repairs to damaged lines from this week’s winter storm.
“Rolling closures from 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. will last about 15 minutes at a time between RM 2244 and Westlake Drive,” TxDOT said.
Austin Energy: 73,349
Pedernales Electric said crews were making progress now that the weather has cleared up.
“As of 11:15 a.m., we’re managing 10,000+ outages system-wide, and 97% of members have power,” PEC said. “PEC staff will continue to work around the clock to restore power, and we won’t stop until every last member is restored.”
Austin Energy: 75,485
The City of Austin said the winter weather has not impacted Austin Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants.
“Water storage levels remain healthy in the distribution system. Austin Water continues to work closely with Austin Energy to restore power to pumps and lift stations,” the city said.
According to the city, as of this morning, 74 traffic signals remained dark due to ongoing power outages. Officials said Austin Mobility crews were working in the field to reset dark traffic signals back into operation when power is restored.
Cedar Park Police said the eastbound lanes on New Hope are now open, but the westbound lanes are still shut down while crews repair the pole.
Austin Energy: 76,908
Cedar Park Police said it was shutting down traffic on New Hope at Discovery due to repairs needed on an electrical pole.
“Traffic could be affected on New Hope between the Toll Rd. down to Bell Blvd. Avoid the area and expect delays,” CPPD said.
Austin Energy said since 5 p.m. Friday, it has restored power to nearly 51,000 more customers, for a total of 256,307 customers restored since the beginning of the weather event.
Austin Energy: 76,869
Austin Energy: 76,944
Austin Energy: 76,991
Austin Energy: 102,196
Mitigation Officer for the Travis County Fire Marshal’s Office Will Boettner joined KXAN Friday to discuss how this week’s ice storm may affect the next wildfire season.
Boettner said, while these tree limbs will not dry out enough until the end of 2023, it will add fuel to potential fires in the future.
Watch the full interview in the video above.
Elgin ISD will offer free lunches to district students at Elgin High School Saturday. Pick up will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The district said a student name, address and campus will be required.
Austin ISD is offering options for families in need of meals. The district provided some options in a tweet Friday night.
You can also call Texas Health and Human Services at 211 or (877) 541-7905 to speak to a live operator.
KXAN data reporter Christopher Adams is keeping track of Austin Energy power outages. As of 4:30 p.m. Friday, this map shows most outages are in south Austin in the 78745 ZIP code.
At least 104 traffic signals are flashing or dark “due to power outages” as of 3:30 p.m. Friday — up from 27 reported hours earlier — Austin Transportation Department spokesman Jack Flagler said. Nearly 500 traffic lights are “out of communication,” Flagler said — meaning ATD field crews have to physically check to see what’s wrong.
KXAN investigator Matt Grant reports Austin-Travis County EMS said it responded to at least 100 weather-related crashes — the “vast majority” lately due to darkened intersections.
The CapMetro Red Line rail will not run with power outages still affecting the city. The shuttle service will be provided by Route 454 Leander/Lakeline, CapMetro said.
CapMetro said it will have an update on rail service for next week on Sunday evening.
Hays County declared a disaster declaration Friday. It will last as long as a week, if not rescinded sooner or continued. It allows the county to access more resources to respond to the disaster.
“Winter weather conditions that brought freezing temperatures, icy roads and fallen tree limbs have caused significant damage throughout the county. Hays County resources were mobilized to deal with the dangerous conditions. Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra under the advisement of Mike Jones, Emergency Services Director, and Alex Villalobos, Chief of Staff, issued the declaration to prevent threats and maintain the health and safety of the community,” the county said in a release.
Austin Energy: 115,930
CapMetro said there would not be any CapMetro Rail operations through the weekend due to continuing power outages in the area.
Shuttle service will be provided by Route 454 Leander/Lakeline on Saturday, according to the transportation agency, and an update on next week’s Rail service will be shared Sunday evening.
ATCEMS said the vast majority of collisions it has responded to were a result of signals not working, especially after dark.
“If you’re on the road & come across a light that’s not working, or flashing red, treat these as a 4-way stop!” ATCEMS said.
Austin Energy: 117,714
The City of Austin’s transportation department said a downed wire has temporarily closed Duval eastbound and westbound at the railroad track crossing west of Duval and Amherst.
The department also said Austin Public Works has 15 crews with more than 100 field staff mobilized to address fallen trees and debris.
“In the last 24 hours, their crews have addressed over 240 debris removal requests,” the city said. “Don’t attempt to move fallen tree limbs in the right of way — please leave it to the professional crews, who are working quickly to respond.”
Austin Energy: 117,364
Austin Energy: 118,895
The Austin Transportation Department has a map that shows which traffic signals currently have issues. At 10:26 a.m., ATD tweeted that 27 signals were flashing or dark because of outages. It also said it had restored 120 signals since the start of the ice storm, “with crews working 24h.”
It is also asking people to report dark traffic signals by calling 3-1-1, filling out an online form or using its mobile app.
Austin Energy: 119,521
With warming temperatures melting off ice from trees and utility lines, the leader of Austin Energy said she’s “cautiously optimistic” Friday morning that work to restore power would move more quickly now.
As of 11 a.m. Friday, the number of power outages exceeds 122,000 customers. Jackie Sargent, the general manager of Austin Energy, said crews have to date restored power to 182,159 customers since the beginning of the storm.
A number of places in Central Texas are under a boil water notice:
- The areas of Hays County under the notice include Hays County Water Water Control and Improvement Districts (WCID) 1 and 2, as well as the Reunion Ranch WCID.
- In Travis County, the Senna Hills Municipal Utility District (MUD) is under a boil water notice. That area is on Senna Hills Drive off Bee Caves Road.
- Travis County WCIDs 17 and 18 also issued boil water notices on Friday.
- City of Elgin issued a notice for the Elgin Oaks subdivision and nearby streets on the same distribution system. These streets include Lacy Drive, Shady Drive, Shady Cove, Pumpstation Road, Sandy Lane, Markert Drive and Little Sandy Drive.
- Boil water notices are also in place for for Travis County Water District 10 and the City of Lexington.
Austin Energy: 121,790
ATX Transportation provided an update on light signals throughout the city.
The department said 27 signals were confirmed to currently be in flash or dark due to power outages and they should be treated as an all-way stop. Since the beginning of the event, 120 signals have been restored.
Austin-Travis County EMS and Austin Fire said they were on the scene of another carbon monoxide exposure incident. Medics are transferring two adults by STAR Flight to University Medical Center San Antonio for hyperbaric treatment.
During a conference, an ATCEMS representative shared information about all the carbon monoxide responses. ATCEMS said it has responded to 10 calls with 32 patients total.
“The city let its citizens down. The situation is unacceptable to the community, and it’s unacceptable to me, and I’m sorry,” Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said during an update on the power outage situation.
Austin Energy: 122,535
Round Rock Police said the flyovers connecting IH-35 and SH-45 have reopened.
“We’re still seeing ice out there. Continue to drive cautiously. That means SLOW DOWN, buckle your seat belts, give extra space between your vehicles, turn your headlights on and be extra cautious at turns, bridges, ramps and overpasses. If you see road crews out, move over,” the Central Texas Mobility Authority said.
Austin Energy: 122,040
Lake Travis Fire Rescue said there was a multi-vehicle wreck on the 620 dam bridge. Please avoid the area/find an alternate route.
“The bridge was icy from overnight. One person transported with non-life-threatening injuries. Southbound lanes open. One northbound lane open,” LTFR said.
Cedar Park Police said East Whitestone between North Vista and Arrow Point has been reopened. The roadway was originally shut down due to ice causing several crashes.
Georgetown PD said it did not have any road closures due to ice; however, the department said it was working on several motor vehicle accidents on and near overpasses. GPD said to continue to use caution as ice is still on many bridges and overpasses.
Austin Energy: 122,893
Austin Energy: 123,183
Cedar Park Police said it was shutting down East Whitestone between North Vista and Arrow Point due to ice on the roadway causing several crashes.
Round Rock Police said the flyovers connecting IH-35 and SH-45 have been closed.
“It got just cold enough last night that many elevated roadways and major thoroughfares have patches of ice. We are working multiple wrecks this morning likely caused by slick roadways,” RRPD said.
Austin Energy: 122,781
Austin Energy said the remaining outages were complex, but there are close to 400 crew members from Austin Energy and neighboring utilities working to get customers back online.
“If your power is still out, please be patient. We know you are frustrated. We are too,” Austin Energy said.
KXAN Traffic Anchor Erica Brennes said ice was reported on SH-45 between MoPac and I-35 and on US-183 near Oak Knoll Drive.
KXAN confirmed with AFD the 10-vehicle crash on US-183 was a pile-up incident.
Austin Energy: 122,535
Austin Fire said it was responding to multiple collisions on the west side of the city. In a tweet, the department said 10 vehicles were involved in the 12700 block of N. US 183.
Austin Fire and Round Rock Police both said the departments were responding to several collisions from reported ice on the roadway.
“It got just cold enough last night that there may be patches of ice on elevated roadways and major thoroughfares,” RRPD said.
TxDOT Austin said US-183 Northbound lanes at McNeil Road were closed due to a crash.
Austin Energy: 121,998
TxDOT Austin said major roadways were in pretty good shape Friday morning, but crews continued to treat some icy patches in the Austin area.
ATCEMS said since Tuesday, it has responded to 56 hypothermia incidents, as well as 10 CO incidents involving 32 total patients.
Austin Energy: 119,742
Austin Energy said crews worked throughout the night to restore power to affected customers. Since 5 p.m. Thursday, the utility said it has been able to restore power to an additional 31,585 customers, for a total of 172,339 customers restored since the beginning of the weather event.
“There are now close to 400 lineworkers from Austin Energy and neighboring utilities working to get customers back online. Austin Energy is grateful for the assistance of neighboring utilities, including New Braunfels Utilities, CenterPoint Energy and Renegade,” the utility said.
Austin Energy: 121,411
Austin Energy: 123,009
Austin Energy: 125,224
Austin Travis County EMS tweeted it responded to a carbon monoxide exposure incident and took a child patient to Travis County STAR Flight, which took them to San Antonio. Methodist AirCare also took an adult patient to San Antonio.
The City of Lakeway said a precautionary boil water notice was issued for West Travis County PUA customers only, which includes a large portion of Rough Hollow, due to power loss at their facilities.
Austin Energy said restoration efforts continue through the night to safely restore power as fast as possible.
“Reminder: Never touch a downed power line or a tree limb making contact with a downed power line. Call 512-322-9100 to report a downed power line,” Austin Energy said.
Austin Public Health said cold weather shelters will be open overnight Friday. Go to the One Texas Center (OTC), 505 Barton Springs Road, from 6 pm – 8 pm to register for overnight shelter.
A boil water notice has been issued for the Elgin Oaks Subdivision after a “prolonged outage” at the city’s water treatment facility.
To remove possible bacteria, the City said customers should boil the water for two minutes before use.
The City of Elgin will have packaged water available for Elgin Oaks residents at 1137 Swenson Blvd. until 6:30 p.m. Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. You should call (512) 229-3251 for more information about packaged water.
ERCOT initiated an outage for an area near Liberty Hill, Leander and Georgetown Thursday afternoon without advanced notice to Pedernales Electric Cooperative customers, according to a release from PEC.
The outage lasted around two hours in the Seward Junction area near State Highway 29. Several traffic lights were also out in the area, the City of Liberty Hill said in a Facebook post.
ERCOT said it was a localized outage due to ice.
Austin Water said during a press conference it does not anticipate the need to issue any citywide water outage or boil water notices. Earlier today, officials said they were concerned about water storage in southwest Austin. However, power was restored, and the agency said it was replenishing water storage.
Once everything goes back to normal temperature wise, Austin Water said it would be good for customers to conserve water so the water has more time to restore pump station operation and keep levels healthy in the system.
The National Weather Service said a light round of showers will cruise across the Austin metropolitan area through 7:30 p.m.
“Look for all liquid to fall from this with the extra rain to help hasten the melting on trees and roofs. Evening rainfall amounts will be mostly less than 1/10 inch,” NWS said.
Austin Energy: 147,197
PEC said ERCOT ordered a power outage in the Seward Junction area.
“This outage was taken without advanced notice to PEC. At this time, PEC does not know how long this outage will last. PEC has no control of the outage or its duration,” PEC said.
ERCOT said it posted the transmission outage notice due to ice resulting in localized outages in/around the Leander area.
“This was a local transmission issue, not a grid issue. ERCOT expects sufficient generation to meet forecasted demand. Customers are advised to contact their local utility to report any outages,” ERCOT said.
Austin Energy: 146,576
Austin Energy said crews might knock on residents’ doors in order to access equipment, such as energy equipment in backyards or utility easement located on your property, as it works to restore power.
Austin Energy: 148,695
Gov. Greg Abbott said as communities across Texas recover from this week’s severe winter weather, he urged all Texans to self-report damage via iSTAT.
“Thank you to the utility crews working to restore power in communities affected by local outages,” Abbott said.
The Austin Police Department said on Wednesday, officers responded to a total of 74 collision calls throughout the day. This was a significant decrease from the collision calls APD had Tuesday, according to the department.
Austin Energy: 146,479
KXAN Meteorologist Nick Bannin and Jim Spencer talk about the historic nature of this storm and how it compares to past ones.
Austin Energy provided a fuller picture of why it couldn’t provide a specific estimate for when power will be restored. Earlier, it had said Friday evening, which it said it was “fairly confident” about “based on what we knew at the time.” Now, it said “more ice than anticipated occurred” and it has a better idea now that it’s done on-site inspections around the city.
“The majority of the outages from this winter storm are complex involving heavy construction equipment in areas that are sometimes impassable due to downed trees and branches. As an added challenge, we’re also continuing to experience repeated outages meaning ice, trees and tree limbs continue to knock out power to the same circuits crews just restored,” Austin Energy said.
It added some issues may require homeowners to have electricians come out to fix problems before it can turn the power back on.
Austin Energy is also asking those without power to help prepare for when it is restored. It wants to avoid “cold load pickup,” a phenomenon where items plugged in and left on before an outage can overload a circuit when it comes back on, that it said could cause a second outage.
- Turn off thermostats
- Turn off/unplug fixtures or appliances
- Leave on only one light, which will help them know when power is back
“We understand this makes an already challenging situation even more difficult. We have 100+ crews and more headed to our area in the coming hours to turn the power back on. We are grateful for the assistance of neighboring utilities who are providing much-needed assistance. We appreciate the patience of our customers as our lineworkers brave these conditions and work with the rest of our staff to restore power,” it said.
Liberty Hill said it appears power is back. “We are not expecting ongoing initiated outages, but warming and charging centers are on standby and will be announced if needed.”
The City of Liberty Hill wrote on Facebook it’s working to open warming centers after outages in the Seward Junction area, near U.S. Highway 183 and State Highway 29.
“ERCOT ordered LCRA to initiate a power outage in the Seward Junction area. The outage was taken without advanced notice to PEC. At this time, PEC does not know how long the outage will last,” it wrote.
It also said it doesn’t expect water to be an issue but that people should reduce the amount of water they put down drains and times they flush the toilet because “the grinder pumps run on electricity and we need to conserve to avoid backup.”
Stoplights are also out along SH 29.
Below are the current number of customers without power from each service provider:
Austin Energy: 148,584
Austin ISD and Pflugerville ISD are among the schools that will close Friday. See a full list of school delays and closures in Central Texas here.
“This is a dynamic situation and change is inevitable but Austin Energy must give folks clear and accurate info so they can plan accordingly,” Mayor Kirk Watson tweeted Thursday afternoon. Council members Alison Alter and Vanessa Fuentes also called Thursday for a briefing next week on Austin Energy’s storm response.
Austin Energy: 152,340
Austin Energy: 152,800
Austin Energy said in a tweet it determined it was unable to provide a specific system-wide restoration estimate.
“Each individual outage has unique challenges and full restoration will take longer than initially anticipated. At this time, we are unable to provide a restoration time,” Austin Energy said.
The energy company acknowledged this was not an update people would want.
“We know this is an update no one wants to hear. We understand this makes an already challenging situation even more unbearable. We have 100+ crews and counting working to turn the power back on. We will continue to provide updates as they become available,” Austin Energy said in a separate tweet.
Austin Energy: 152,523
Travis County Emergency Services said to be aware of falling ice from overhangs as it begins to melt.
“Do not park your vehicle or walk under an overhang that could be hazardous for falling ice!” TCESD12 said.
Austin Public Health said its hours to register for overnight shelter has expanded from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.
The Austin Airport said the ice was thawing and all airport roads, sidewalks, parking garages and runways were ice-free and open.
Austin Energy said more than 100 crews were in service and it was expecting more crews from Houston to arrive this afternoon.
Austin Energy: 153,119
Austin ISD tweeted staff members have been visiting campuses to determine when to safely re-open. The district is expected to make an announcement at 3:30 p.m. regarding Friday’s schedule.
Austin Energy: 153,309
Austin Water denied rumors it planned to shut off the water.
“We’ve heard there are rumors flying that Austin Water plans to shut off water. That is not correct,” Austin Water said. “Austin Water’s treatment plants are currently operating at normal levels & meeting the community’s water demands.”
The City of Austin said more than 100 utility crews were working to restore power.
“Power has been restored to more than 113,000 customers in the last day,” the city said.
Austin Energy: 155,774
Round Rock Police said all roads have been reopened after downed tree limbs but said to continue to use caution on all flyovers connecting IH-35 & SH-45, eastbound RM 620 at Chisholm Trail and Memorial Park low water crossing.
Austin-area tree services are already in high demand.
One tree trimming service company said it has received more than 100 calls for limb and brush removal following this week’s ice storm.
The Pedernales Electic Cooperative shared an update on its current outage landscape in Central Texas, stating about 90% of its customers have power.
Some repairs could extend into Thursday evening.
Austin will open its cold weather shelter again Thursday night as the city deals with widespread power outages after this week’s ice storm.
Austin Mayor Kirk Watson spoke with KXAN Thursday morning to discuss the city’s widespread power outages.
Watson answered questions on the city’s preparedness for the storm.
Downed tree at 29th and Pearl Streets in Austin
Georgetown Police said at the intersection of Shell Spur and Logan Ranch Road, there is a PEC power pole laying across the roadway. The electric company has been notified. Avoid the area if possible.
TxDOT spokesperson Brad Wheelis spoke about the department’s response to the impacts on Austin’s roadways caused by a days-long ice storm.
Austin Energy spokesperson Luis Riva spoke with KXAN to give an update on Austin’s power outages and restoration efforts.
Austin Energy: 156,000
Too many people are trying to access Austin Energy’s website to report outages, the utility said. A pop-up message on the utility’s outage page said, “our system isn’t allowing some people to submit through our outage map or by text,” because so many people are trying.
“If you see a large outage on the map near your home, we are most likely already aware that your house is without power. Thank you for your patience as we work through the problem,” the message said.
Austin Energy said customers can still call the outage line at 512-322-9100, but due to a high volume of calls there are long wait times to speak with someone.
Below are the current number of customers without power from each service provider:
Austin Energy: 155,977
The Austin Airport said current conditions at the airport were cold and wet but that flights continue to operate.
Austin Energy: 158,309
Austin Energy: 155,850
Austin Energy: 164,311
Austin Energy: 166,746
Ascension Seton confirmed in a statement that the Ascension Seton Northwest location worked on backup generators due to the extreme weather conditions.
The St. David’s North Austin Medical Center had no power for a brief time Wednesday, according to a statement from CEO Tom Jackson.
He said the hospital has generators to provide an alternative source of power, and the safety of patients was not compromised at any time, he said.
“In an abundance of caution, all remaining non-emergent procedures are being rescheduled,” Jackson said.
Captain Darren Noak with Austin-Travis County EMS said they responded to more than 600 calls Tuesday compared to around 350 calls the day prior to the storm.
With tree limbs falling due to ice, Noak recommends caution before checking out potential damage around your property.
“Just because you heard a limb cracking and falling in your backyard doesn’t really warrant investigation,” Noak said. “Our first tip is, you know, don’t go outside unless you absolutely have to.”
Austin Pets Alive! is asking for people to pick up dogs Wednesday to foster in homes, away from resident dogs, until Friday, according to a release. The shelter is without power and internet as of Wednesday afternoon.
You can sign up to foster a dog or cat by filling out this form or signing up through the APA! website.
We Are Blood is asking for donations in O-type blood and any type of platelets, according to a tweet from the blood bank.
The blood bank said it is “dangerously low” and has an “emergency need” because of the winter storm.
Appointments are available starting Thursday. Here’s how you can sign up.
Travis County Water District 10 customers are being asked to conserve water due to a power outage at a pump station. Austin Energy is working on repairs at the McConnel Pump Station, according to a release.
There isn’t expected to be an interruption in water service.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office said I-35 from Wells Branch to Grand Avenue Pkwy was shut down in both directions due to power lines that have fallen across the roadway. The southbound frontage road at Grand Avenue is also closed. TCSO said crews were working to clear it.
CapMetro said some services would resume Thursday.
- Bus service begins at 10 a.m.
- Increased frequency Bus service begins at noon
- CapMetro Access and MetroBike begin service at 10 a.m.
- Pickup service begins at 10 a.m. in zones where conditions are safe
- CapMetro Rail will not operate
Below are the current outages from each service provider:
Austin Energy: 171,095 customers without power
Oncor: 33,062 customers affected
Bluebonnet: 10,278 without power
Pedernales: 1,029 total outages
Austin Energy: 162,891
Austin Energy: 160,869
“Ice and tree limbs are still breaking as our lineworkers are working on restoration. Our crews are making progress, but there is still a lot to do and we’re are working as quickly and safely as possible,” Austin Energy said in a tweet.
Austin Energy: 164,506
Austin Community College said the campus would remain closed through Thursday and reopen on a normal schedule Friday.
Austin Energy: 157,606
Austin Public Health said the Cold Weather Shelter activation was extended to Friday, Feb 3.
Austin Police said officers were on the scene of power lines down in the roadway at the 1800 block N. Capital of Texas highway. APD said all lanes of travel are shut down in the area.
Austin ISD tweeted that because of continued bad weather and power outages throughout the area, all district schools and offices would remain closed Thursday, Feb. 2, and all classes are canceled.
The City of Austin’s Transportation Department said more than 25 signals were currently in flash due to power outages.
Austin Energy: 162,381
TxDOT tweeted that with the icy conditions across the state, tree limbs were falling and causing power outages for many traffic signals.
“If you come across a darkened signal, treat it as a 4-way stop for your safety and the safety of others. But if you don’t need to drive, please stay off the roads,” TxDOT said.
Austin Energy: 146,616
CapMetro tweeted out a reminder that regular service was canceled for Wednesday due to weather.
Austin Energy said these outages were due to severe winter weather and were not related to a statewide grid issue.
Austin Energy: 147,258
DoorDash said it has suspended all operations in Austin through 9 a.m. Thursday.
Austin Energy: 148,077
Keep up-to-date with this running list of outages:
ERCOT said it expected sufficient generation to meet forecasted demand and was continuing to monitor forecasts throughout this week.
“Ice on trees/powerlines can lead to localized outages,” ERCOT said. “If customers are experiencing a local power outage they are to reach out to their local power provider or visit the PUCT outage map for more information.
“Based on these changing conditions, it is not possible to provide estimated restoration times,” Austin Emergy said. “Austin Energy crews are prioritizing power restoration to critical organizations and working to get the greatest number of customers online in the least amount of time.”
Power outages have steadily increased across Central Texas over the last few hours.
Austin Energy: 145,485
Austin Energy tweeted that it’s possible some customers may be without power for 12-24 hours. To read about how Austin Energy restores power, click here.
Austin Energy: 134,687
Tree limb breaks and falls on air while Blake DeVine gives a live report of conditions in Austin.
100,462 Austin Energy customers are without power.
Austin Energy: 66,759
Ice is also starting to affect trees. A north Austin resident sent in the photo below showing the big tree in their yard falling apart under the weight of the ice.
Austin Energy reports 46,140 are without power.
Pedernales: 3,600; Oncor: 2,438; Bluebonnet: 1,765.
Power outages increased drastically within the last hour.
Austin Energy reports 28,547 without power. Bluebonnet has 1,555 outages. Pedernales: 1,482. Oncor: 713.
The City of Austin cold weather shelters will be open Tuesday night at One Texas Center on Barton Springs Road.
KXAN’s Grace Reader explains what you need to know if you’re in need of shelter.
The Texas Department of Transportation Brad Wheelis interviewed on KXAN Tuesday and gave an update on road conditions for the Central Texas area. He advised people should stay home if they absolutely do not need to drive. TxDOT has laid out brine to help prevent ice from forming on roadways.
The Universal Technical Institute Austin campus is closed Feb. 1 due to continuing winter storm effects that are making road conditions and driving extremely hazardous, the university said in a news release. UTI Austin campus leaders will continue to monitor weather conditions and will communicate if there will be any further cancellations or delays this week.
FIRST WARNING WEATHER: Stay up to date with your Central Texas forecast, sign up for our weather newsletter at kxan.com/newsletters
The Hays County Courthouse said all county government offices, except for critical operational staff is closed tomorrow, Feb. 1, due to worsening weather conditions. All school districts in Hays County will also be closed tomorrow, the courthouse said.
University of Texas Austin facilities will remain closed, and classes are canceled Feb. 1. However, essential personnel will still report to campus. If possible, employees will work remotely. Furthermore, shuttle buses will not run on campus.
CapMetro announced Tuesday afternoon it is suspending all “non-emergency services” through Wednesday evening amid dangerous road conditions.
H-E-B announced it is closing all stores in the Central Texas area at 6 p.m. and will reopen at 10 a.m., Feb. 1.
A Travis County sheriff’s deputy was taken to the hospital after he was hit by an 18-wheeler truck in southeastern Travis County Tuesday morning, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office told KXAN.
We Are Blood has closed all donation centers and mobile drives during the winter storm through Wed., Feb. 1.
The City of Austin is suspending all regular non-essential operations effective at 2:00 p.m. today, Jan. 31 through Wed., Feb. 1.
A number of Central Texas schools have already announced they will remain closed Wednesday. Keep on top of the latest from each district below:
A warming center is open in the City of Leander at the Leander Activity Center at 11880 Hero Way W, Suite 600. It will stay open until noon Wednesday. There will not be food there.
Travis County offices and facilities will close Wednesday, although essential emergency staff will continue to work.
Tuesday was supposed to be the deadline for property owners to pay their property taxes. They can do so online or by the end of the day when the Travis County Tax Office reopens after the storm.
Travis County Commissioners will meet Thursday instead of Tuesday.
By 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, nearly 275 flights coming in or flying out of Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) scheduled for today had been canceled, according to an AUS dashboard. Read more about how the airport is being impacted:
Cars, fire trucks and even tow trucks are losing control on the icy bridges in and around Austin. One Central Texan, Mary Stone, was trying to get a friend to cancer treatment Tuesday morning, but ended up spending hours stuck on SH 45 because of the icy conditions. Read about their experience:
A crash involving a deputy and an 18-wheeler on SH 130 near Pearce Lane sent the deputy to the hospital. The deputy had to be extracted from the vehicle.
KXAN digital reporter Kelsey Thompson has collected photos of the ice storm’s effects across Central Texas into a map. Check it out below:
Portions of the main lanes of MoPac near the Domain are closed. Southbound MoPac is also closed near Barton Creek Mall.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is also reporting a crash on the U.S. 290 toll at Giles Lane that is blocking all lanes in both directions.
KXAN’s Nabil Remadna discusses weather conditions of Facebook Live.
Austin Fire Department has posted a warning on Twitter for people to stay home and avoid roads, not to use stoves as heaters and to give space heaters plenty of space to avoid fire accidents.
“Since midnight, we’ve responded to 90+ accidents, including 3 w/our own units! There were also 2 fires this a.m., both caused by space heaters,” AFD said.
Clean-up crews have SH 71 off-ramp closed while they remove debris from a previous wreck.
Austin Development Services said it will delay opening Tuesday until 10:00 a.m. All in-person appointments are canceled and will need to be rescheduled. Start times for inspections will also be delayed until 10:00 a.m.