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Austin and Travis County issue state-of-disaster declarations

A person walks next to their car overnight during the winter storm.
Gabriel C. Pérez
Officials advised people to assume surfaces are still slippery and to take extra care when walking outside.

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The City of Austin and Travis County have declared a state of disaster following this week's winter weather.

“This disaster declaration will allow us to continue our winter weather response over the next several days, as we look to transitioning to recovery efforts," Travis County Judge Andy Brown said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Mayor Steve Adler said the declaration puts the city in a position to be reimbursed for the added costs of shelters, supplies and personnel.

The officials thanked the community for heeding warnings to minimize the effects of the storm and urged people to limit travel, especially when temperatures drop again, so recovery crews can respond to emergencies.

Officials with Austin-Travis County EMS advised people to assume surfaces are slippery and to take extra care when walking outside.

While the temperature is expected to drop back into the low 20s and teens Friday night, the National Weather Services said "a slow warming trend will begin and continue into early next week."

More arrivals and departures are expected at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport today than on Thursday. But because of lingering delays and cancellations, passengers are still encouraged to check with their airlines for any schedule changes.

Demand on the state's electric grid was significantly less than the Electric Reliability Council of Texas predicted, and there weren’t widespread power outages in Austin on Thursday night. You can visit Austin Energy's outage map for updates on power outages.

Here are some links to help you check up on road conditions and services that may be disrupted by the freeze.

Where to stay warm

Community warming centers in Austin are now closed. Cold weather shelters for people experiencing homelessness will reopen Friday night. People who missed the 2 p.m. cutoff to register for shelter, should call 311.

Capital Metro to run limited service Friday

CapMetro is operating on a new "critical service schedule" Friday. The regional transit agency will offer limited service from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Buses will run on 30- to 60-minute frequencies. MetroRail service will remain suspended.

Also canceled Friday:

  • Pickup
  • MetroExpress
  • UT shuttle service
  • Flyer routes

CapMetro is providing some emergency transportation for MetroAccess customers and others who need to get to lifesaving medical treatments. The agency plans to return to a normal schedule on Saturday.

School closures and other disruptions

Many school districts and universities are closed Friday, including Austin ISD and UT Austin. Find a list of school closures here.

Travis County’s mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics, including the Travis County Exposition Center drive-thru clinic, will remain closed through the weekend, officials say. Operations will resume Monday.

Austin Public Health will resume providing free vaccines Saturday at Southeast Library, 5803 Nuckols Crossing Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Austin Resource Recovery is canceling its services for the remainder of the week. The Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center will also be closed until Monday. The city's waste management utility is asking customers to bring their carts in to avoid them sliding away. Customers can call 311 to request the collection of a tree limb downed because of the weather.

A cure for cabin fever?

The YMCA of Austin is opening its facilities to the community for free now through Sunday to help people who have been stuck at home because of the storm. That includes access to everything from exercise classes, heated indoor pools, gymnasiums and child care. For a list of locations and hours, go here.

Nonessential city recreation centers, museums and nature facilities will remain closed this weekend. Golf courses and swimming pools will reopen as temperatures rise above freezing.

Austin public libraries that are open Saturdays will resume operations at noon tomorrow. All other locations will reopen with normal hours on Monday.

Stay informed

To receive updates about the winter storm from Austin Emergency Management, text ATXWEATHER to 888-777.

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