As snow blankets Austin, about 37,000 without power

by 24USATVJan. 10, 2021, 10 p.m. 83
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Large amounts of snow fell throughout Central Texas on Sunday, knocking out power to thousands of residents throughout the region.

As of 3 p.m. Sunday, more than 35,000 residents were without power across Austin, according to Austin Energy. The utility has suspended providing time estimates for restoration as they call in extra crews to restore power as heavy snow continues to drop.

Snow is expected to fall throughout the day with one to two inches accumulating in Austin, said meteorologist Nick Hampshire with the National Weather Service. As of 3:15 p.m. Sunday, some areas of Round Rock and Pflugerville had already seen four to five inches of snowfall. Snow was also popping up in counties south of Austin including Comal.

The average January snow fall is 0.4 inches, according to the service. The record accumulation in Austin was 11 inches Nov. 22-23, 1937.

A winter storm warning is in effect for Travis, Llano, Burnet, Williamson, Bastrop and Lee counties, where one to three inches of snow accumulation is expected, with isolated higher amounts possible, according to the National Weather Service. The warning is effective through midnight.

The service expects the heaviest precipitation to stop at 4 p.m. in Austin and earlier to those to the south.

Although much of the snow was melting in the city on late Sunday morning because temperatures were above freezing, the snow is expected to stick later in the day because temperatures will fall, said Hampshire.

Several images posted on social media toward early afternoon show blankets of white covering lawns, roads and other inanimate surfaces.

The flakes are the result of an upper level disturbance coming in from the Pacific Northwest. Austin last received snow when a trace of it fell on Feb. 5, 2020.

Austin police are asking the public to be vigilant on the road. Officials are asking people to keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in vehicles in case of an emergency.

The city of Austin is also opening two cold weather shelters Sunday evening. Single adults in need of shelter should arrive from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Central Library at 710 W. Cesar Chavez St.

Families in need of shelter need to go by 6 p.m. to the downtown Salvation Army Shelter at 501 E. Eighth St.

A health screening for coronavirus will be done during registration and temperatures will be checked. For more information call the 24/7 hotline at (512) 305-4233.

Chances of snowfall will drop to about 50% after 9 p.m. Sunday with nighttime lows around 32 degrees. Little to no snow accumulation is expected in the evening. Monday will be mostly sunny with a high near 45. Overnight lows Monday could still dip below freezing, about 28. Temperatures will warm back up through the week with highs in the 60s by Wednesday.

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