UPDATED: Austin, Travis County announce closures to continue Feb. 4 amid freeze

Austin and Travis County were hit with subfreezing temperatures and other winter conditions. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Austin and Travis County were hit with subfreezing temperatures and other winter conditions. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Austin and Travis County were hit with subfreezing temperatures and other winter conditions. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Updated 4:50 p.m. Feb. 3

The city of Austin and Travis County announced that weather-related closures will continue Feb. 4 as subfreezing temperatures and other winter conditions are expected to continue.

The city and county also advised area residents to refrain from driving until icy road conditions clear up. Essential public safety services will be continuing, and several shelters are operating throughout the area for those in need.

Updated 3:23 p.m. Feb. 2

Following Travis County, Austin announced it will be suspending all normal city operations Feb. 3 in anticipation of severe winter weather. However, the city said all essential public safety services will be continuing as normal.

"The National Weather Service is predicting a strong, arctic cold front will move through Central Texas Wednesday evening and cause freezing temperatures starting Wednesday during the overnight hours through the weekend. While impacts like February 2021 are not expected, hard freezes, very cold windchill values and a potential wintry mix of precipitation are all possible," the city said in a Feb. 2 statement.

City emergency updates will be posted online, and residents can also subscribe to updates by texting ATXWEATHER to 888-777 in English. Spanish language users may text ATXCLIMA to 888-777.

Posted 3 p.m. Feb. 2

With much of Central Texas set to be blanketed in a winter storm warning Feb. 3, the city of Austin and Travis County announced several changes to their operations during the freeze.

Both the city and county advised residents that an update on the winter weather was sent through Warn Central Texas before the storm watch goes into effect at 3 a.m. Thursday. Officials have previously advised area residents to subscribe to the regional emergency notification system to prepare ahead of events such as a deep freeze and other potential disasters. Further information on the city's status during the winter conditions is available online.

The city is opening cold weather shelters for individuals experiencing homelessness starting Feb. 2. Individuals who need those services can go to One Texas Center, located at 505 Barton Springs Road, between 6-8pm on Feb. 2 for registration for shelters, or between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Feb. 3. Capital Metro fare can be waved for individuals who take public transit to the registration center, though the organization has already announced it will not operate on Feb. 3. Arrangements can be made to help those individuals board their pets if needed, according to the press release.

Austin also announced that Austin Public Health's COVID-19 testing and vaccination centers will close Feb. 3-4 due to the weather. The city said those with scheduled appointments have been notified

Ahead of Thursday, the city also laid out several recommendations and resources for city residents seeking to prepare for the cold.

Travis County announced its offices and facilities will be closed Feb. 3 for all nonessential services, and that only "essential" county staff will be reporting to work. The county said its mobile vaccination clinics will also be closed Feb. 3.

This story will be updated with additional information related to the winter storm warning as it is released.
By Ben Thompson

Austin City Hall Reporter

Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2019 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston. He spent more than two years reporting on Montgomery County and The Woodlands area before moving to Austin in 2021 to cover City Hall and other news throughout the city. Contact Ben with questions, tips or feedback at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @BThompson_CI.