Editor’s note: This story was last updated at 6:45 p.m., Feb. 12.
Inclement weather hit the Greater Austin area Feb. 11 with freezing temperatures expected to continue into early next week.
An accumulation of ice on trees and power lines created significant power outages throughout the city and in the Lake Travis-Westlake area beginning Feb. 11, according to an update from the city’s utility provider, Austin Energy.
One of the larger outages in the Lake Travis region is occurring near Apache Shores, according to Austin Energy’s outage map.
At noon, Feb. 12, Austin Energy crews were in the Apache Shores neighborhood but waiting for equipment and additional help to trim trees.
Apache Shores resident James Riley said he has been without power since noon on Feb. 11.
"I can't cook; I can't shave; I can't have coffee," Riley said. "There is no power—nothing. I'm driving around in my truck just to stay warm."
Austin Energy has crews in the field throughout its service territory, according to a written statement to Community Impact Newspaper from Jennifer Herber, Austin Energy public information and marketing program manager.
"The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority. Crews are climbing poles covered in ice, navigating downed power lines and broken tree limbs and also driving on icy roads, so restoration is slowed by those factors," she said. "We know there are some customers who have been without power for awhile, and we ask for patience as we navigate through this."
As of 6:30 p.m., Feb. 12, nearly 340 residents in Apache Shores were without power, according to Austin Energy's online outage map.
The inclement weather also caused a string of traffic light outages throughout the city of Lakeway. As of the evening of Feb. 11, traffic signals were off at the RM 620 intersections of Lakeway Boulevard, Kollmeyer Drive and Clara Van Street as well as the intersection of Lakeway Boulevard and Lohmans Crossing, according to a Facebook update from the Lakeway Police Department. As of noon Feb. 12, the traffic signal at the intersection of Clara Van and RM 620 was flashing red.
The functionality of those traffic signals are frequently changing amid ongoing outages, according to Lakeway Director of Communications Jarrod Wise. Lakeway police advised travelers to practice caution and treat these interactions as four-way stops.
Outages have also struck neighborhoods within the Westlake area. Seven outages impacting 136 customers are ongoing throughout West Lake Hills.
Local ISDs throughout the region, including Eanes, Lake Travis and Leander, have closed campuses Feb. 12; however, students at LISD will participate in remote classes per the district’s regular schedule.