Blast Of Winter Weather Leads To School Delays

An ice-coated car Tuesday morning in Temple. (Photo courtesy of Adam Cuker)

(January 28, 2014) Tuesday got off to a cold and in some places slick start in Central Texas, and the winter blast led some school districts to delay the start of classes and in a couple of cases to cancel classes altogether.

Authorities reported ice on some roadways in the area Tuesday morning.

In Bell County there were widespread reports of ice on roads and elevated surfaces.

Portions of interstate 35 in the southern part of the county were iced over Tuesday morning.

Ice on streets and highways in the Temple area was clearing Tuesday morning, but police said ice remained on some bridges and overpasses.

U.S. Highway 190 was mostly clear, but there were patches of black ice, the Department of Public Safety said.

The worst problems were on road, bridges and overpasses in rural areas of Bell County south and east of Temple and south of Killeen, the DPS said.

At a school in the Academy ISD, parents encountered ice when the dropped their children off Tuesday morning and some couldn’t get out of the parking lot, authorities said.

Icing was also a problem on Highway 6 between Hearne and Calvert, Highway 79 in Robertson County and Highway 77 near the Milam-Lee County line.

A winter weather advisory was in effect until 9 a.m. Tuesday that included Bell, Milam, Leon and Robertson Counties, where light freezing rain was leaving a glaze of ice on some elevated surfaces and roadways.

The W.S. Young Bridge was closed at Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Rancier Avenue in Killeen, police said.

Temperatures were in the 20s at the start of the day with wind chill readings as low as 10 in some places, but should rise into the upper 30s during the afternoon before dropping into the teens overnight.

Wednesday will be sunny and a little warmer with highs in the upper 40s.

Things were worse Tuesday to the south and southeast of the Waco-Temple-Killeen area.

Austin police say the upper decks of Interstate 35 and some flyover ramps were closed down as freezing rain combined with falling temperatures made driving treacherous.

Police reported at least 80 accidents between 5 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

In Houston, there were only scattered reports of freezing rain and traffic was light.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas until midday Tuesday.

The Houston Independent School District, the state's largest with more than 210,000 students, canceled classes Tuesday because of the threat of inclement weather and districts in Beaumont, Galveston and Fort Bend followed suit.

Government offices and buildings and courts in Houston as well as in Harris and Galveston counties will also be closed.

Residents across the South were bracing Tuesday for a rare blast of icy weather as the storm pushes out of Texas.

Such tourist destinations as Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans expect ice and snow over the next two days- rare in places that seldom see prolonged sub-freezing temperatures.

In eastern Mississippi, four people died when an early morning fire destroyed a mobile home.

Investigators believe a space heater used to warm the nine people inside was to blame.

Officials said the victims ranged in age from 3 months to 30 years.