Developing
9:07 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Winter Storm Delays Schools, Primary Voting in Central Texas

UPDATE: The National Weather Service curtailed the winter storm warning issued Monday. It is now in effect until 9 a.m. for Bastrop, Burnet, Travis, and Williamson Counties. 

K-12 SCHOOL DELAYS:

School districts in the Austin area are announcing delayed starts for Tuesday morning, due to the winter weather. 

The following districts have announced a two hour delay so far:

  • Austin ISD
  • Bastrop ISD
  • Burnet ISD
  • Del Valle ISD
  • Dime Box ISD
  • Dripping Springs ISD
  • Eanes ISD
  • Elgin ISD
  • Georgetown ISD
  • Hays CISD
  • Hutto ISD
  • Lago Vista ISD
  • Lake Travis ISD
  • Leander ISD (no morning Pre-K)
  • Lockhart ISD
  • Luling ISD (opens at 10 a.m.)
  • Manor ISD
  • Pflugerville ISD
  • Prairie Lea ISD
  • Round Rock ISD
  • Smithville ISD
  • Texas School for the Deaf
  • Wimberley ISD

The following area Charter Schools are also on a two hour delay:

  • East Austin College Prep
  • Harmony Public Schools
  • IDEA public schools
  • KIPP Austin

HIGHER EDUCATION DELAYS:

  • UT Austin: Campus will remain closed until 11 a.m. Tuesday. Normal operations will start at that time, including evening activities and classes. All classes this morning are cancelled until 11 a.m. Classes scheduled to already be under way at 11 a.m. will be cancelled or have a delayed start time.  Students should follow faculty instructions about those class start times. Shuttle buses will start running at 9:30 a.m.
  • Austin Community College: ACC will open at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Classes and activities scheduled before that time are canceled.
  • Concordia University: Austin main campus and North Lamar offices will open at 10:30 a.m. All science labs scheduled to be in progress at 10:30 a.m. will meet beginning at 10:30 a.m. and end at their regularly scheduled time. All other classes beginning before 10:30 a.m. have been canceled.
  • Houston Tillotson University: Campus will open at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
  • Southwestern University: Classes will start on schedule. No weather delay for classes or offices.
  • Texas State University: San Marcos and Round Rock campuses will open at 11 a.m. Buses will begin running an hour before the start of classes.

GOVERNMENT OFFICE DELAYS:

  • City of Austin offices will open at 11 a.m.
  • Austin City Council work session will start at 11 a.m.
  • Hays County offices will open at 10 a.m.
  • Hays County Commissioners Court will begin at 10 a.m.
  • Travis County offices will open at 11 a.m.
  • Travis County Commissioners Court will begin at 11 a.m.
  • The Texas Rail Road Commission is operating on a two-hour delay.
  • The Texas Comptroller’s Office will open at 10 a.m.

POLLING PLACES:

Today is Texas Primaries Election Day.

  • Travis County Polling Stations: Will not open until 11 a.m. A decision will be made after noon as to whether polls will be open later than 7 p.m.
  • Williamson County Polling Stations: Some will open at the regular time of 7 a.m. and some will not open until 9 a.m. More information at wilco.org/elections

In a statement, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said she expected the delay to have a minimal effect on turnout, as voters can cast a ballot anywhere they see a "Vote Here" sign in Travis County.

The following counties are not planning to delay the opening of polling locations:

  • Bastrop County Polling Stations: Plan to open as usual.
  • Burnet County Polling Stations: Plan to open as usual.
  • Hays County Polling Stations: Plan to open as usual.

CAPITAL METRO: Capital Metro will operate its regular weekday service on Tuesday. Delays are possible with inclement conditions and reduced speeds. UT Shuttle service will begin at 9:30 a.m., coinciding with the delayed opening of the University of Texas.

FORT HOOD: The Fort Hood Senior Commander has cancelled Physical Training (PT) for March 4 due to potential inclement weather. All units will cancel physical training. Soldiers and Airmen will report to work at 9 a.m. March 4. The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center is open today, March 4, for normal business operations. Normal staff reporting times for all staff apply.

ORIGINAL STORY: There's a Winter Storm Warning in effect for the Austin-area until Tuesday at noon. National Weather Service forecaster Pat McDonald says precipitation combined with freezing temperatures could mean a coating of ice, mainly on exposed surfaces.

“The rain will come in and that will turn into a freezing rain, basically a freezing rain-rain mixture from about 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning until about 8 or 9 o’clock in the morning. The biggest impact for the city of Austin is going to be for the bridges and overpasses,” McDonald said.

“We’re not looking for a whole lot, but enough that it will cause a problem, I’m anticipating at this time, " he said. "Maybe about a sixteenth- to an eighth-inch thick of ice coating on some of the automobiles and some of the bridges and overpasses.”

The Weather Service said the freezing rain chances should be over by 9 a.m., but it won’t be until hours later that the air temperature gets above freezing and any ice has a chance to melt.

Austin Travis-County EMS is offering these winter weather safety tips, and Austin ISD police chief Eric Mendez is urging people to stay off the roads. "Give 1st responders a break & don't drive if u don't have too," he tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is calling on consumers and businesses to conserve electricity through 9 a.m. Tuesday morning to avoid the risk of rolling blackouts.