Officials: Be cautious if traveling but don’t ‘panic’ over ice storm warning

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY

Those shopping at the Marble Falls H-E-B on Jan. 15 were greeted with sparse grocery aisles, like this soup section, as residents reacted to a Winter Storm Warning by the National Weather Service for the following day. Courtesy photo

Those shopping at the Marble Falls H-E-B on Jan. 15 were greeted with sparse grocery aisles, like this soup section, as residents reacted to a Winter Storm Warning by the National Weather Service for the following day. Courtesy photo

MARBLE FALLS — Icy winter weather led to a few funny plays on words such as “Arctageddon” and “Snowmageddon.” Some Highland Lakes residents even found humor in their neighbors’ reactions to the Winter Storm Warning issued for the area Jan. 15-17.

“When I went into H-E-B, and I passed by the meat counter, it was empty. I turned the corner and I get into the soup aisle, and I was shocked,” Meadowlakes resident Lee Ann Clark said about the Marble Falls grocery store. “It was empty. … I just wanted to get some chicken broth.”

Marble Falls Police Capt. Glenn Hanson said he encourages people to take care when traveling; however, residents should keep potential hazardous weather in perspective.

“In the weather briefings that I’ve been reading, I don’t believe there’s a need for (stocking up on food or fuel),” he said. “I don’t feel there is any need for folks to be in a panic.”

As of the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 16, temperatures remained in the mid-20s to low 30s.

The National Weather Service extended its travel advisory through Wednesday morning due to the chance of freezing rain producing ice-slicked patches on roads.

Reports of one more batch of sleet surfaced; however, the winter precipitation might move into the western Hill Country before warmer temperatures arrive Thursday, the NWS reported in an 11:30 a.m briefing Tuesday.

Icy conditions had dissipated on roadways but remained in areas such as parking lots, sidewalks, and even a car wash in the 1000 block of Avenue K as of 1 p.m. Jan. 16. The National Weather Service issued a second freezing rain advisory for freezing conditions through Wednesday morning. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

Icy conditions had dissipated on roadways but remained in areas such as parking lots, sidewalks, and even a car wash in the 1000 block of Avenue K as of 1 p.m. Jan. 16. The National Weather Service issued a second freezing rain advisory for freezing conditions through Wednesday morning. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

Public safety officials continued their warnings against non-essential travel as conditions evolve.

“Bridges are going to be the first thing that would ice,” Hanson said. “If you don’t have to get out, don’t. If you do, exercise extreme caution. Sometimes, there may be ice on the road you can’t see.

“Naturally, if we have a long enough stretch of below-freezing temperatures, (area public safety agencies) are ready for it,” he added.

Temperatures through Tuesday night into Wednesday morning are expected to linger in the low to mid-20s across the Highland Lakes and Central Texas with “the potential for ice, sleet,and/or snow that falls today to remain on surfaces until early afternoon Wednesday,” the NWS report stated.

In the meantime, Clark encouraged her neighbors to use some common sense.

“It’s just an ice storm. It’s for one day. Everyone is not going to starve for one day,” Clark said. “We all probably already have food in our pantry we need to eat and don’t need to go to H-E-B.”

connie@thepicayune.com

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