Another winter blast has Austin area on guard

An iced-over Mopac over Lady Bird Lake during the morning ice storm on January 28, 2014 (David Yeomans/KXAN)

Several school districts were playing it safe and not waiting until Friday to call off class as the threat of winter weather again targeted Central Texas.

Texas Department of Transportation officials told KXAN at 6 p.m. they had not yet made a decision on whether to pretreat any structures.

“That decision will be dictated by the weather and may vary from county to county,” said Kelli Reyna, a spokesperson with TxDOT.

Reyna said TxDOT crews would be on standby and would be monitoring forecasts and would be ready to respond when necessary.

At 10 p.m. Thursday, the Austin/Travis County Emergency Operations Center was activated to coordinate winter weather operations. Operational staff from public safety and transportation departments were called in to monitoring conditions and coordinate resources.

The Department of Public Safety offers the following tips for staying safe during winter weather:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel if possible and monitor local weather broadcasts.
  • Remember that ice forms first on bridges, overpasses and shady areas.
  • On icy roads, drive slowly, increase distance needed for stopping, and avoid using cruise control.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before any trip – check fluid and antifreeze levels.
  • Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.
  • Be sure to check with local school districts for any possible weather-related closures.

In addition, here is a list of emergency supplies DPS says drivers should keep in their vehicle:

  • Blankets/sleeping bags and extra clothing, mittens and hat
  • Cell phone, radio, flashlight, extra batteries
  • First-aid kit and pocket knife
  • High-calorie, nonperishable food, bottled water
  • Sack of sand or cat litter to provide traction for tires
  • Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and shovel provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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