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Ice Hits, Austin Stops

UPDATE: Multiple accidents mean schools, UT, county, city close

By Richard Whittaker, 8:10AM, Fri. Jan. 24

Final proof: We do get snow in Austin.
Final proof: We do get snow in Austin.
Photo by Richard Whittaker

Last night's shocking drop to 27 degrees, and a rarely sighted dusting of snow, means that Austin is effectively shut down for the day. School districts, colleges and government entities have shut down until Monday. Here's the full details.

Schools

Austin ISD, the barometer for many local businesses, has announced that all classes are canceled and district offices are closed today. They will reopen on Monday, Jan. 27, and the makeup day has been scheduled for June 6.

UPDATE 12.50pm AISD has now said that the makeup day will be Feb. 17. Also, all afterschool activities beginning after 5pm are back on. The district asks everyone to contact their relevant coach or instructor. Transportation will be running again as normal.

Classes are also canceled at Del Valle, Lake Travis, Leander, Manor, Pflugerville and Round Rock ISDs.

As for the students of Marble Falls ISD: They're only on a two-hour delay.

Colleges and Universities

UT Austin is completely closed, as are Huston-Tillotson, Austin Community College, Southwestern, St. Edwards and both the Round Rock and San Marcos campuses of Texas State.

Classes are canceled at Concordia: However, the main campus offices will reopen at noon.

Local and State Government

Both the city of Austin and Travis County are closed today. All emergency services will still be operating, but are likely to be overstretched due to the weather and the large number of auto accidents.

Texas Parks and Wildlife has closed its Austin offices, and advises potential visitors to their parks to check before making any travel plans.

Two major service changes:
Early voting locations in the House District 50 special election run-off will be closed until noon.
Friday trash collection will now be on Saturday.

UPDATE 8:33am The city just announced that all Parks and Recreation Centers and Senior Centers, plus Big Stacy Neighborhood Pool and Deep Eddy Pool, are closed today. Barton Springs Pool is open for "swim at your own risk" swimming. All golf courses will have a delayed opening time: Call 512/974-9350 for information.

UPDATE 12.53pm: No good walks spoiled today. All city golf courses will be closed.

The following Dougherty Arts Center School classes are also canceled:
Creativity Club at Dougherty Arts Center School, 1110 Barton Springs Road
Creativity Club at Zilker Elementary School, Travis Heights Elementary School, and Oak Hill Elementary School
Open Studio at Dougherty Arts Center School Ceramics & Darkroom, 1110 Barton Springs Road

And talking city facilities, the Le Garage Sale at the Palmer Events Center is delaying opening its doors until 1pm.

Roads and Transportation

There have already been multiple single and multi-vehicle wrecks and pile-ups, with 146 accidents reported so far. APD Police Chief Art Acevedo is urging everyone to be extra careful out there. The general advice is stay home unless you have to drive, and then drive with real caution, especially if you have no experience in driving in icy conditions. Keep your distance, drive slowly, watch for icy stretches, and always buckle up.

UPDATE 12.54pm: APD is now reporting 245 collisions on city roadways since 6.30pm last night. Fortunately, there have been no fatalities or serious injuries so far.

Capital Metro will be running its reduced Saturday service. There will be no UT shuttle buses.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is still open, but there have already been 32 cancellations. Check their website or follow @AUStinAirport on Twitter for updated details.

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