Kayak paddles, sleeves for coffee cups and spatulas were deployed across Austin this morning to scrape ice off windshields. Some commuters even used actual ice scrapers to maintain visibility as they confronted a rare hard freeze before their commutes.
According to the National Weather Service, Austin hit 50 consecutive hours below freezing as of yesterday evening, a cold stretch the likes of which we hadn’t seen since 2011. Then, last night, temperatures plummeted to 15 degrees at Austin Bergstrom International Airport, a record low there for the date.
The cold stretch forced people to improvise when it came to de-icing their cars. We put out a couple calls on social media to find out what people used. Favorite tools included credit cards and spatulas. One respondent used warm water, which, experts say, could damage your windshield.
The question also prompted some nostalgia for CD and cassette tape cases.
Man, back in the day CD cases were awesome to use (I grew up in Tennessee, so we used them often)! I guess those days are gone...
— Levente McCrary (@LeventeMcC) January 3, 2018
Wooden spatula that I normally smash beans with. pic.twitter.com/4VZ3spDPhH
— Somewhere In ATX (@SomewhereinATX) January 3, 2018
CD case (rw) but I pre-scraped to break it up with the plastic pen top!
— Luke Quinton (@LukeQuinton) January 3, 2018
My work badge, it didn't go very well.
— Gregory (@NashATK) January 3, 2018
Starbucks coffee cup paper sleeve worked wonders for me #winterinAusTex
— Mary Sicola (@mksicola1) January 3, 2018
On the weirder side of things, one respondent used plastic soccer cones; another grabbed an old shoe.
I used a kayak paddle, which, in retrospect, was probably overkill.
Of course, there were those among us who used actual ice scrapers. But really, where’s the fun in that?
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