This live blog for Friday, Feb. 12 is no longer being updated. For the latest information and updates on the winter weather in Central Texas, go to the live blog for Feb. 13-14.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Frigid air arriving from the Arctic plus precipitation has led to multiple wrecks on slick roads, numerous law enforcement agencies have reported.
We will include all the notices we receive from law enforcement or other traffic officials about crashes in this post.
Check our list of school closures and postponements with potential dangerous driving conditions on deck.
- KXAN First Warning Weather forecast updates
- Central Texas Radar
- Weather alerts
- Checklist for protecting your home during wintry weather
- What to know about COVID-19 vaccine appointments amid wintry weather
- Austin area rainfall amounts
- Central Texas webcams
- How to drive on icy roads if you must
10:20 p.m. Friday
Power outages as of 10 p.m.
Austin Energy – The outage map shows about 2,500 people are still without power in the coverage area. The most affected areas include some neighborhoods near Anderson Mill Road, the High Vista neighborhood near Spicewood Springs Road, a neighborhood off Hudson Harbor on Lake Travis and Hazeltine Drive in Lakeway.
Austin Energy told KXAN it was reviewing issues with the map and with customer notifications. Its crews were seeing so many overlapping outages that all of them may not be reflected on the map, a spokesperson explained.
Oncor – About 1,822 customers are without power in Williamson County. About 69 customers are without power in Travis County.
Pedernales Electric Co-op – There are about five outages reported in the Round Rock area, six in Cedar Park, eight in Lago Vista, three near Liberty Hill and two near Kingsland.
Bluebonnet Electric Co-op – Five outages are being worked on by crews or being investigated.
10:05 p.m. Friday
The City of Austin and Travis County are preparing for the anticipated winter storms expected to hit this weekend into next week. Emergency Operations have been activated.
Cold weather shelters are activated for Friday night, and they will be operating 24 hours a day for as long as conditions dictate, according to the city. Those sheltering Friday evening will be offered the chance to stay during the day and upcoming nights.
Those looking for shelter Saturday will be able to go to Central Library at 6 p.m. to be transported to shelters, the city said. A warming center will also be open starting 10 a.m. Saturday at the Palmer Events Center at 900 Barton Springs Road. Those at warming centers will be able to be taken to cold weather shelters in the evening time on Saturday on request.
The Austin Public Works Department has implemented an emergency response plan and asks the public use extreme caution when driving.
9:04 p.m. Friday
Austin Water crews responded to a domestic wastewater overflow from the Texas Plume Lift Station on Spicewood Springs Friday. Austin Water said a power outage happened at the station, and the overflow started early Friday morning.
Operation staff is working alongside contractors to stop and contain the spill as well as repair the lift station, the water company said. The spill is about 100,000 gallons.
This spill has not affected Austin’s drinking water supply, Austin Water said. Officials with the Texas Commission of Environment Quality have been notified.
7:15 p.m. Friday
KXAN’s Kaitlyn Karmout captured these photos of a massive tree falling on power lines near a Walgreens on FM 620 Road in Austin.
Winter storm expected to cause distribution delays – Grocery stores are preparing for possible shipment delays. H-E-B has already experienced problems due to the cold this week. Additionally, the Texas Department of State Health Services said to expect vaccine delays at the beginning of next week.
Austin neighbors report back-and-forth over outage reporting – As of 5:30 p.m., Austin Energy reported about 7,000 customers still without power with 251 active outages. They said for now, they’re suspending their text alerts regarding outages due to the complexity of the outages they’re experiencing.
Emergency crews warn drivers of historic winter weather weekend – Brad Wheelis with the Texas Department of Transportation is warning people the roads will be in bad shape, even with the pre-treatments already underway. Wheelis said the chemicals used will slow down the freezing process, but not stop it altogether.
5:10 p.m. Friday
The southbound lane of I-35 near exit 214 in Kyle has been reopened after a ‘major accident’ there late Friday morning. The crash involved two 18 wheelers.
4:35 p.m. Friday
Gov. Greg Abbott announced he’s issuing a disaster declaration ahead of more winter storms expected to hit the state in the next few days.
The announcement read Abbott is continuing to deploy state resources to help local officials in their response efforts. He ordered the Texas State Operations Center to expand its daily operations to 24 hours a day through the end of next week.
“Texas should heed the guidance of their local leaders and stay alert to changing weather conditions in their area,” Abbott said in the press release. “These resources will help us respond to this severe winter weather and keep our communities safe. The State of Texas remains in close contact with officials on the ground and will provide any additional resources and support that are needed.”
4:15 p.m. Friday
Maintenance crews from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) are now working on 24-hour shifts in the Austin region to deal with icy conditions on the roads.
Brad Wheelis, a TxDOT spokesperson, shared that information during a live-streamed interview with KXAN’s digital anchor Will DuPree.
He noted there are currently no major road closures in the Austin area, but pointed out that can quickly change because temperatures remain so low.
“We can lay down the brine. We can come back and put deicer in an area where we have a trouble spot,” Wheelis explained. “Because those temperatures are not getting above [freezing] and they haven’t since yesterday, that can freeze over in just a short amount of time, so you’ve got to take it very slowly if you’re driving home from work this afternoon.”
He reminded drivers to keep in mind that roads are not going to be perfect despite treatment happening regularly.
“These are not miracle solutions. The brine is a treatment and can be a pre-treatment, and that slows the freezing process,” Wheelis said. “Keep in mind: I’m using ‘slowing the freezing process.’ It doesn’t mean it’s going to prevent everything from freezing. It just gives us more time to work with.
“We do have deicer that we can put down. That’s going to help as well,” he added, “but this does not dry out the roadway. Any time you have a wet roadway or finally you’re getting some melting because you have so many vehicles on it and the treatment, that’s going to freeze up again real soon. So take it slow, again defensive driving, tap on the brakes, no cruise control.”
He said drivers should also be aware that TxDOT crews will treat major roads as the priority simply because more vehicles use those.
“Let’s say you’re up in Bertram or Llano, S.H. 29 is one of those roadways that we’re going to give priority to,” Wheelis said. “If you’re on the lesser-traveled roads, we might not have gotten to those yet. Keep that in mind: we have more than 9,000 lane miles in the Austin district. It’s nearly impossible to go over all of those and hit those every day. It’s just not doable.”
Wheelis said the TxDOT maintenance offices throughout the area are getting plows ready to add to vehicles since snow is in the forecast in the next few days.
He added the agency’s advice remains for people to stay home if at all possible.
“We’ve got a game plan, but we do ask the traveling public to help us out,” Wheelis said. “Stay home because if you stay home, you don’t have to worry about defensive driving. You don’t have to worry about slowing down, and you don’t have to worry that you’re not coming back home to your family at the end of the day.”
2:36 p.m. Friday
Cedar Park Police tweeted 183A toll road is now reopened. “Please continue to drive with caution,” the post read. There’s a possibility the road may be shut down again if conditions get too dangerous. The toll road was closed overnight, police previously reported.
12:45 p.m. Friday
H-E-B told KXAN that the wintry weather created “brief transportation delays” in getting shipments to stores in the Austin area.
A company spokesperson said in a statement, “In order to provide safe conditions for our drivers, delivery schedules were adjusted but product is still being delivered to our stores today and throughout the weekend.”
H-E-B also shared that it “shipped increased loads to ensure product is available for our customers should we encounter additional challenges due to inclement weather.”
12:25 p.m. Friday
The Cedar Park Police Department reminded drivers that the 183A toll road remains closed in both directions due to ongoing issues with icy conditions.
12:10 p.m. Friday
Round Rock police are warning drivers to avoid all flyovers connecting I-35 and S.H. 45 because crews are currently treating them for icy conditions.
Police also said entrance ramps from Louis Henna Blvd. to S.H. 45 are currently closed.
If people have to travel at all Friday, police are asking them to drive at a slow rate of speed.
11:45 a.m. Friday
Meteorologist Kristen Currie joined KXAN digital anchor Will DuPree to provide an update on the major winter storm expected to hit the Austin area in the coming days, which could bring more ice, below-freezing temperatures and heavy snow.
11:10 a.m. Friday
Round Rock Police confirm all flyovers connecting IH-35 and SH-45 are currently being treated for icy conditions and should be avoided. Some of the entrance ramps from Louis Henna Blvd to SH-45 are currently closed.
I-35 southbound is closed at Kyle Parkway (exit 215) after what the Kyle Fire Department describes as a “major accident” on Twitter. A spokeswoman said the call came in around 10:30 a.m. near mile marker 214. It involved two 18 wheelers.
There is no information about injuries. The spokeswoman said ice was not a factor in this crash but still encouraged people to be careful on icy roads.
10:30 a.m. Friday
Parmer Lane is blocked in both directions between Riata Vista and Amherst/Silver creek because of an icy bridge.
10 a.m. Friday
Austin Energy says about 11,000 customers are without power as it works to address 220 active outages. It said smaller outages will require crews to fix lines or fix and replace transformers. “3 circuits are still locked out, but once we have those back online we expect to restore power to thousands of customers,” it said.
9:50 a.m. Friday
Below freezing temperatures continue across nearly all of Central Texas this morning. Pockets of freezing drizzle and sleet are possible – mainly in the Hill Country – later in the morning into the afternoon. The majority of us will stay dry under cloudy skies. Afternoon temperatures will stay in the 30s.
Another major winter storm is on the way this weekend, full forecast can be found HERE.
8:40 a.m. Friday
Austin-Travis County EMS says they responded to 39 vehicle collision calls from 12-8:30 a.m. Friday, and that’s not counting any secondary collision calls associated with those incidents and two other calls for people being stranded out in the cold weather.
It’s all the more reason to stay at home if it’s possible.
KXAN meteorologist Nick Bannin said MoPac at SH 71 is now closed so crews can work on clearing a crash and ATCEMS personnel can treat patients. He took this photo at the scene:
8 a.m. Friday
CapMetro says some routes are being affected by icy roads, and they’re referring people to its website to sign up for mobile alerts and to check the status of buses.
During our morning newscast, TxDOT’s Diann Hodges joined the KXAN News Today anchors to talk about the treacherous road conditions around Austin this morning. She says the department has crews working around the clock to try to keep the roads safe. You can listen to the full conversation here:
7:20 a.m. Friday
Austin Energy’s Luis Rivas says about 25,000 customers are without power this morning. He spoke with KXAN News Today about what crews are doing to restore power to its customers as quickly and safely as possible.
6:20 a.m. Friday
KXAN’s Nabil Remadna said he’s seen two crashes on MoPac near Lake Austin, and we have a full crew headed to that area to check it out. Our teams in the field are reporting power outages along U.S. 183 and cars sliding off I-35.
5:50 a.m. Friday
KXAN’s Candy Rodriguez is at U.S. 183 and McNeil Drive, and she says there’s a power outage that is affecting the traffic signals and nearby businesses. Austin Energy’s outage map shows multiple outages in that area.
5:15 a.m. Friday
Currently, there are more than 30,000 people in Austin without power. Austin Energy is reporting more than 22,000 customers without power, Oncor has just over 5,200 outages and Pedernales Electric is reporting 3,200 customers with the power out.
5 a.m. Friday
We have crews out around Austin checking out areas we’ve received reports of ice and crashes, and there’s a wreck that closed MoPac northbound at Enfield Road briefly this morning, but it’s now open.
There’s another crash on I-35 near the U.S. 290 intersection that’s causing delays for the few who are out on the road, TxDOT reports. Traffic is detouring to the frontage road.
We can’t stress this enough — stay off the roads if you don’t have to be on them.
KXAN photojournalist Todd Bailey took these pictures that illustrate the icy conditions:
4:30 a.m. Friday
Several roads are closed this morning due to ice and hazardous driving conditions. Officials say if you don’t have to be on the road this morning, then don’t be out there.
Here’s a list of area road closures from the Austin Police Department:
- U.S. Highway 183 in both directions from Cameron Road to Austin city limits
- East Slaughter Lane bridge east of Manchaca
- U.S. 290 eastbound to I-35 northbound flyover
- U.S. 290 to eastbound Lamar/Manchaca
- Loop 360 southbound to Ben White Boulevard eastbound
- Harris Branch Parkway and East Parmer Lane
- North MoPac to northbound Research Boulevard
- U.S. 290 westbound to SH 130
- Slaughter/MoPac overpasses
- MoPac and U.S. 290
- I-35 southbound frontage road between 45th-51st streets
- All flyovers on U.S. 183 and U.S. 290
- Koenig Lane/Lamar Boulevard intersection
11:12 p.m. Thursday
TxDOT Austin is tweeting out numerous road closures due to crashes in the city. In the past hour, there have been these closures initiated:
- SH 71 closed in both directions at U.S. 290 in Oak Hill due to a crash
- Northbound MoPac closed at Scofield Ridge Parkway due to a crash. Detour to the Frontage Road until cleared.
- Westbound SH 71 (East Ben White Boulevard) is closed at Burleson Road due to a crash. Traffic detouring to the Frontage Road at Montopolis Drive
- Southbound SH 130 closed after Parmer Lane exit #436 due to a crash. Traffic detouring to the Frontage Road at Parmer Lane
- Closing on eastbound RM 620 bypass lane that runs parallel to SH 45 near Parmer Lane overnight
Crews are continuing to treat roadways.
10:40 p.m. Thursday
One person has died following a reported three-vehicle crash on a U.S. 290 flyover near MoPac in south Austin, according to Austin-Travis County EMS. ATCEMS said expect the area to be closed for investigations. Additional people involved in the crash refused transport to the hospital.
KXAN Photographer Tim Holcomb captured these photos of scene.
About 10,000 people are still without power in the Austin area as of 10:30 p.m. Thursday night, according to Austin Energy’s outage map. The most affected areas still include the Great Hills area in northwest Austin, the Mesa Oaks neighborhood stretching up near Loop 360, the Slaughter Creek Acres neighborhood in south Austin and the area near the Hurst Creek overlook.
10:10 p.m. Thursday
ATCEMS said a vehicle rescue is underway Thursday night in south Austin in the 5000 block of U.S. 290 Highway Service Road. There was a three-vehicle crash on the flyover westbound going to MoPac southbound. CPR is being done one person while other people on the flyover are being evaluated. ATCEMS is asking drivers to avoid the area.
9 p.m. Thursday
Cedar Park Police tweeted U.S. 183A toll road will remain closed overnight due to icy conditions. Austin Police also said it’s working to close U.S. 183 between Cameron Road and Cedar Park city limits. They are asking drivers to avoid overpasses in all other area and not travel unless necessary.
Below is a video sent in by Stan Schwartz of frozen tree branches falling in his Georgetown subdivision.
8 p.m. Thursday
About 20,000 customers are still without power in the Austin area as of Thursday at 7:45 p.m., according to Austin Energy’s outage map. The areas most affected are in northwest Austin near the Great Hills area, the Lakeway area and far south Austin near the Onion Creek area.
“With it being so cold coming up, I’m worried. Is this going to be a multi-day event, especially because it’s going to be so cold this weekend,” said homeowner Stu Smith.
Oncor – More than 15,840 customers without power in Williamson County
Pedernales Electric Co-op – As of 6:30 p.m., there were 8,700+ meters out in their coverage areas
Bluebonnet Electric Co-op – As of 8 p.m., more than 860 customers were affected near where the the Bastrop, Fayette and Lee County lines meet.
Bluebonnet is asking customers to turn their thermostats off or down about four degrees as well as power down all nonessential appliances and lights to help restore power.
Leander Police tweeted Thursday night, saying U.S. 183 at the San Gabriel river bridge (north of Bryson) was closed off due hazardous, icy conditions and for treatment. It has since been reopened.
6:14 p.m. Thursday
Another multi-car crash has happened on the 13700 block of SH 45, near the area where a 26-car pileup occurred earlier today. Austin-Travis County EMS says its staff, Austin firefighters and Austin police are at the scene where at least six vehicles collided. A total of 14 people were involved, with four likely to be taken to the hospital. Five cars will need to be towed, it said. “Recommendation is to shut this area down overnight,” ATCEMS tweeted.
Separately, Cedar Park police say they are shutting down the 183A toll road in both directions because of ice. Earlier today a KXAN viewer sent a video of a truck doing a 360° turn on the icy roadway.
4:50 p.m. Thursday
Electric companies are trying to stay on top of all the icy outages, but as of nearly 5 p.m. Thursday, approximately 39,834 customers were without power:
- Austin Energy – 22,567 customers without power
- Oncor – 10,916 customers without power in Central Texas, including 7,864 in Round Rock
- Pedernales Electric Co-op – 4,151 customers without power in Central Texas
- Bluebonnet Electric Co-op – Estimated 2,200 customers without power, including 2,100 in Caldwell County
3:45 p.m. Thursday
At about 2:30 p.m., Pedernales Electric Cooperative tweeted there were more than 1,500 meters out across its service area. “Crews are making good progress but conditions are still icy,” the cooperative wrote. If you’re still experiencing an outage, they encourage you to report it to SmartHub or call (888) 883-3379.
Round Rock Police tweeted State Highway 45 westbound at Interstate 35 were previously closed due to icy conditions (lanes are now reopened). Traffic is being detoured at the A.W. Grime Boulevard exit. Additionally, all lanes of I-35 northbound in Round Rock are shut down near Hesters Crossing Road due to a wreck involving an 18-wheeler.
KXAN Photographer Tim Holcomb took the below photos showing ice on vegetation and power lines near U.S. 183 and Braker Lane.
2:30 p.m. Thursday
Austin Energy is reporting three large outages in northwest and north Austin that pushed the amount of customers without power up to 13,700.
Two outages in an area of northwest Austin bordered by U.S. 183 and Spicewood Springs Road has around 6,000 customers without power, and a swath of north Austin from the Tech Ridge Center area all the way up past Wells Branch has around 5,000 customers without power.
1:30 p.m. Thursday
The number of Austin Energy customers without power has increased to more than 7,100 customers, and now they are more widespread than before.
The utility’s outage map still shows significant outages in northwest Austin and outlying areas, but now it’s showing outages for almost 3,000 customers just north of the University of Texas at Austin campus.
Austin Energy is constantly adjusting its outage map to reflect the most recent updates. If you’re having an outage, you can use their website to report it.
1:15 p.m. Thursday
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is urging drivers not to travel right now unless it’s necessary.
Brad Wheelis, a TxDOT spokesperson, issued that warning while discussing the agency’s response to the wintry weather during a live-streamed interview with KXAN’s Will DuPree.
Wheelis, however, shared some advice for anyone who must travel, including slowing down significantly due to the conditions.
“Whatever the posted speed limit is, I guarantee you that you don’t want to be driving the speed limit because of the nature of the roadways out there, the precipitation we’ve seen,” Wheelis said.
He also advised drivers to always wear their seatbelt and not to slam on their brakes or use cruise control.
Wheelis said maintenance workers from the various TxDOT maintenance offices in the area are the ones responsible for treating roads. He said not only are law enforcement agencies in constant communication with central dispatch to identify areas that require additional treatment, but the crew members themselves also know where problems will likely arise.
“They’re used to being in their area. They know what’s going to freeze over first. They know which areas are going to be problems, so it really is a well-coordinated plan,” Wheelis said. “But if you do encounter some slick roads out there, just know that our crews are out there, 24-hour shifts in some cases, and they are treating as needed.”
The areas that saw the most problems Thursday, Wheelis said, are north and west of Austin, like Round Rock, Georgetown, Jarrell and the Hill Country. However, he warned, “You can run into slick conditions anywhere you’re traveling in the area, and this isn’t isolated to Austin.”
What the crews mostly use to treat the roads is a liquid brine solution that can easily be made at the various maintenance offices. They also use a granular material to spread on bridges and overpasses to make them less slick.
“Something to keep in mind: these are not miracle cures,” Wheelis said.
“They do not dry out the roadway, as we have more precipitation fall. We haven’t had temperatures go above freezing in some areas today, and they won’t for another 24 hours. Make sure you are very careful because those bridges and overpasses can be especially slick today.”
12:50 p.m. Thursday
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office says FM 1431 in northwest Travis County has reopened after an earlier crash. Authorities closed the road due to icy conditons.
Some school district updates: Del Valle ISD has canceled all after school extracurricular activities, and Taylor ISD is releasing its students on a staggered schedule described in the tweet below.
Nearly 5,800 Austin Energy customers are without power as of this update, and nearly all of them are in the northwestern tip of the utility’s coverage area.
11 a.m. Thursday
Officials urge people to not be out on the roads if they don’t have to be. If that’s impossible and you must travel, here are some tips to do so safely on slick, icy roads.
KXAN Live anchor Will DuPree provided an update on crashes all throughout Texas, including a massive pileup on I-35W near Fort Worth that at least five people died in.
10:40 a.m. Thursday
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office has closed Farm to Market Road 1431 near Tyler Trail between Jonestown and Lago Vista due to poor driving conditions. Authorities said there has been at least one collision there.
It was previously closed so crews could treat it with sand and clear a crash, but the 183A Toll Road has reopened, Cedar Park police say.
10:16 a.m. Thursday
Cold-weather shelters will be available Thursday night for the homeless, Austin Public Health said. It’ll do health screenings for those who show up during registration.
“Single adults in need of shelter should report to the Central Library (710 W Cesar Chavez) 6-8PM. Families in need of shelter should report to the Downtown Salvation Army Shelter (501 E. 8th Street ) by 6PM.,” APH tweeted.
10:08 a.m. Thursday
The 183A toll road is closed due to icy conditions, Leander police said. “Please remain on the frontage road until the icy conditions improve. We are begging folks to drive to the conditions or not to drive at all.”
The National Weather Service tweeted a similar message: PLEASE, DO NOT TRAVEL in the Hill Country and Northern I-35 corridor. Conditions will continue to deteriorate as elevated roadways ice over first followed by other roads.
10:01 a.m. Thursday
Images of wintry weather in Central Texas:
9:55 a.m. Thursday
ATCEMS says it is still working to get to patients involved in the 26-car pileup on SH 45 and get them out of their cars. Four people have been taken to the hospital and it says it expects one more to be taken there as well.
9:44 a.m. Thursday
KXAN viewer Lito Canlas shared a video of a truck skidding on the U.S. 183A Toll Road in Cedar Park near the New Hope Drive exit around 9:15 a.m. Thursday morning. The truck appears to lose control after fishtailing and spins in a 360-degree circle.
9:45 a.m. Thursday
Meanwhile, there is a deadly pileup near Fort Worth that involved 70 to 100 vehicles, according to NewsNation. Fort Worth Police tweeted the northbound lanes of the I-35 toll express and regular lanes were closed because of a major weather-related accident.
9:32 a.m. Thursday
Cars are being toward after a 26-car pileup on the overpass on eastbound N. State Highway 45 near Farm to Market Road 620.
9:15 a.m. Thursday
Cedar Park Police say Lakeline Boulevard is now open in both directions after an earlier crash.
The City of Cedar Park says they are shutting off after at city parks due to freezing temperatures. They’ll turn it back on once temperatures stay above freezing.
9 a.m. Thursday
Austin police are reporting a multi-vehicle crash on North FM 620 near the Amberglen and Briarwick intersection, and the ramp to 45 will be closed until crews can clear the crash. APD says they don’t know if anyone was injured in the crash yet.
8:40 a.m. Thursday
Austin-Travis County EMS is reporting a 26-car pileup on the overpass on eastbound N. State Highway 45 near Farm to Market 620. One person is considered a trauma alert and they have been taken to a hospital. So far, ATCEMS says there are no other significant injuries to others.
8:15 a.m. Thursday
Llano Independent School District originally planned to continue with classes after a two-hour delay, but now they have canceled school entirely Thursday.
The San Gabriel River bridge on Ronald Reagan Boulevard in Leander appears to be fully-sanded and traffic is now flowing slowly through the area, KXAN meteorologist Nick Bannin reports. Police previously closed the bridge so crews could put sand down.
Leander Police are getting so many calls about icy roads, they tweeted and said there were “too many to post.”
Take it easy on the roads in that area if you have to be on them. If you don’t, stay home.
Cedar Park Police have now shut down Lakeline Boulevard between Cypress Creek and Little Elm due to slick roads and patches of black ice.
7:40 a.m. Thursday
Multiple wrecks have closed the San Gabriel River bridge on Ronald Reagan Boulevard between State Highway 29 and Farm to Market Road 2243 in Leander as crews rush to the area to sand it, Leander Police said.
Police blame icy conditions for the crashes.
In Cedar Park, multiple crashes have been reported on U.S. Highway 183A Toll due to icy roads. Cedar Park Police want people to slow down if they have to travel on the road, but if possible, avoid the area entirely.
State Highway 195 near Liberty Hill “is an issue,” according to Liberty Hill Police. They report people are sliding all over the road and cars have slid off the road. The flyover near Florence is closed due to icy conditions.