Winter storm warning in effect through Monday; Abbott issues state-wide disaster declaration
A winter storm warning issued Saturday afternoon for a four-state region that covers East Texas is expected to last through 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15.
Officials from the National Weather Service in Shreveport are predicting a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow during this period, with significant impacts to travel and power outages expected.
The announcement follows on the heels of a state-wide disaster declaration issued Feb. 12 by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Abbott noted that snow and ice are expected throughout the state during the next few days and ultra-low temperatures will linger throughout the upcoming week, resulting in a number of road closures and extremely dangerous conditions, according to a release from his office.
He will request a Federal Emergency Declaration from the White House to make additional resources available for communities impacted by this weather event, the release added.
In addition to NWS issuing the winter storm warning, it simultaneously issued a wind chill advisory.
Heavy mixed precipitation is expected as part of the winter storm warning, with total snow accumulations of 3-5 inches, sleet accumulations around one inch and ice accumulations of around one-quarter of an inch. For the wind chill advisory, very cold wind chills are expected, with wind chills as low as 10 below zero, the NWS website noted.
This covers the east/northeast Texas region, stretching to portions of north central/northwest Louisiana, southeast Oklahoma and south central/southwest Arkansas.
Weather officials said ice may cause power outages and tree damage, while travel could be nearly impossible due to snow, sleet and ice accumulations.
The cold wind chills could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken, officials added.
“Every part of the state will face freezing conditions over the coming days, and I urge all Texans to remain vigilant against the extremely harsh weather that is coming,” Abbott said. “Stay off the roads, take conscious steps to conserve energy and avoid dangerous practices like bringing generators indoors or heating homes with ovens or stovetops. Our emergency response to this winter weather requires a collective approach between state agencies, local officials and Texans throughout our communities to ensure the safety and security of the Lone Star State.”
If you must travel, “keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency,” NWS officials advised. “Use caution while traveling outside. Wear appropriate clothing, a hat and gloves.” Motorists can find updated road conditions by calling 5-1-1, 800-452-9292 or visiting the website DriveTexas.org.
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