'It's very deadly': Fort Bend County residents urged to stay home, off roads in winter weather

Memorial Parkway is seen covered in snow Feb. 15. (Courtesy Dana LeMaster)
Memorial Parkway is seen covered in snow Feb. 15. (Courtesy Dana LeMaster)

Memorial Parkway is seen covered in snow Feb. 15. (Courtesy Dana LeMaster)

Fort Bend County officials are urging residents to stay indoors, keep off the roads, and check on their neighbors and loved ones in the hazardous winter conditions.

During a press conference Feb. 15, county officials noted while the snow that fell over the county overnight was a rare sight to behold, winter conditions do noy come without significant dangers. Because of the poor road conditions, Sheriff Eric Fagan urged residents to avoid driving at all costs, except for in an emergency.

“It looks beautiful out there, but it's very deadly,” Fagan said.

Numerous roads throughout the county were closed as of 10 a.m. on Feb. 15, Fagan said. Even roads without snow are dangerous, Fagan said, because of ice and the overall unsafe conditions.

“There is no road that is safe right now in Fort Bend,” he said.

The Fort Bend County emergency operations center activated Feb. 14, said Alan Spears, Fort Bend County’s deputy emergency management coordinator. Aside from road incidents, the majority of calls from residents have been related to power outages throughout the county, he said.

The county is communicating with CenterPoint Energy, Spears said, and though it will likely be “a very slow process” until power is restored for all residents, crews are working to get it done.

“Obviously if it's not safe for the public to be out on the roads, it's not safe for their crews, either,” Spears said. “But they are doing their best. ... They understand the need for electricity, especially with the temperatures the way they are.”

CenterPoint Energy, which services large portions of the Greater Houston area, stated on Twitter early Feb. 15 that customers should conserve electricity and expect temporary power outages.

Additionally, residents with frozen pipes should turn off their water, Spears said, to help prevent burst pipes.

Until conditions improve later in the week, Fort Bend County Judge KP George encouraged residents to check on their neighbors, bring their pets inside and stay at home.

“Please, stay home, protect yourself and your loved ones,” he said.

County offices as well as the county’s COVID-19 vaccination sites were closed Feb. 15 and scheduled to be closed again Feb. 16, the county announced. The Texas Department of Health & Human Services announced Feb. 15 that because of the winter storm, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put vaccines shipments on hold, and deliveries were not expected until at least Feb. 17. All Fort Bend County residents who were scheduled to get a COVID-19 vaccine Feb. 15 or Feb. 16 will be rescheduled, the county said.

Residents should watch the county’s social media pages to stay informed, George said, as updates will be posted on the judge's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/judgekpgeorge. Above all, Spears said, the county is asking residents to be patient.

“I can't emphasize enough: This is just one of those incidents where we got to be patient,” he said.
By Morgan Theophil
Morgan joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2021 as the reporter for the Katy edition. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism in 2018.


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