The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) issued a winter storm warning from midnight until 9 p.m. Thursday and weather-related closures are mounting in anticipation of a mix of freezing rain and sleet and ice accumulations of up to 1/4-inch across the Hill Country.
Any icing that occurs Thursday probably won’t melt until Saturday.
Wind gusts of up to 35 mph are possible, producing wind-chill values through the single digits and teens Thursday through Friday night.
“Travel could be very difficult on untreated roads, especially elevated bridges, overpasses and roadways,” NWS said in a statement. “Sidewalks and pavement will be slippery to walk on. In addition, a risk for hypothermia exists for those spending extended time outdoors and not dressed in layers and gloves.”
Tuesday, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said it anticipates a high demand for power Wednesday through Sunday due to the forecasted cold front.
“ERCOT will deploy all the tools available to us to manage the grid effectively during this winter weather,” ERCOT said in a statement. “We are coordinating closely with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Public Utility Commission and elected officials – as well as electric generators and transmission and distribution utilities – to keep Texans informed throughout the week. We have ordered power plants across the region to postpone planned outages and to return from outages already in progress.”
Comal County asks residents to stay off roadways if possible and to protect pets and plants. The fire marshal reminds residents to keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn (drapes, bedspreads, blankets for example). Space heaters should be plugged directly into wall units, not extension cords.
Space heaters should be turned off and fires in fireplaces extinguished before bedtime. Never use a stove or oven to heat a home. Never use generator indoors.
Other safety tips from the county include wearing layers of clothing to keep warm, keep faucets dripping, and check on friends and neighbors who may not have heat in the event of power outages.
New Braunfels Utilities warns that outages can be caused by tree limbs weighed down with ice hitting utility lines.
Canyon Lake Water Service Company (CLWSC) reminds customers to:
- Place insulated domes or foam covers on backflow preventers and outdoor faucets to reduce the likelihood of water pipes freezing or expanding.
- Drain all water hoses and store them in a garage or shed.
- Drain irrigation water supply line.
- Know the location of their main water shut-off valve. The shut-off valve is usually located in the box adjacent to the meter box. The valve turns clockwise to close.
- Allow a slow drip from indoor faucets to reduce pipes from freezing.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow the home’s heat in.
- If your pipes have burst inside your home, turn your water valve off to prevent further damage. The shut-off valve is usually located in the box adjacent to the meter box. The valve turns clockwise to close.
Comal ISD will close all campuses and facilities on Thursday and Friday. All extracurricular activities for Thursday and Friday, as well as Saturday morning are canceled or are in the process of being rescheduled.
New Braunfels ISD canceled classes for Thursday. All extracurricular activities are canceled.
Comal County Commissioners Court, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday, is canceled.
Comal County and City of New Braunfels offices will be closed on Thursday.
New Braunfels Utilities activated its emergency operations center and will close all lobbies and drive-thrus.
Community Resource and Recreation Center of Canyon Lake (CRRC)’s Resource Center and Food Pantry will close Thursday and Friday. The Recreation Center will be closed Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Saturday games are canceled. The Thrift Store will close Thursday and possibly Friday.