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Winter storm bears down on Kerr County

There's a winter storm warning, as schools and businesses close Thursday.

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As the looming winter storm approaches Kerr County, a wave of closures and cancellations were announced Wednesday.

Schools in Kerrville, Ingram, Center Point and Hunt will close in anticipation of icy road conditions on Thursday. Other businesses and attractions, including the Museum of Western Art, will close.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning on Wednesday morning for the Texas Hill Country, but this storm will cover most of Texas and other states across the Midwest and South.

“Confidence remains high that a significant icing event will take place through Hill Country and into the I-35 corridor, including the Austin and San Antonio metro areas,” the National Weather Service wrote. “A mixture of freezing rain and sleet will be ongoing early Thursday morning across the Hill Country and will advance southeast through the day as temperatures fall below freezing.”

As of 3:30 p.m., the weather service said the winter storm warning will stay in effect until 9 p.m. Thursday. We could see some significant ice loads in Kerr County.

“Significant icing is expected with a mix of freezing rain and sleet. Ice accumulations of 1/10 to 1/4 inch on average are expected, with isolated higher amounts possible,” the weather service said. “Total sleet accumulations of 1/4 to 1/2 inch possible across the Hill Country. In addition, winds could gust as high as 35 mph and produce wind chill values in the single digits and teens Thursday through Friday night.”

In an email to customers, the Kerrville Public Utility Board said it expects the power to stay on during the storm, but anything is possible.

“​​We are not anticipating this to be a severe event for major outages in our service area, but we are prepared and are on standby 24/7 to keep the lights on safely and reliably for you all,” KPUB wrote its customers. “KPUB is continuously monitoring weather outlooks and grid conditions. While Texas is anticipating high energy demand through the weekend, ERCOT projects to have sufficient generation to meet the high demand for electricity. ERCOT has not issued any energy conservation warnings at this time.”

The city of Kerrville offered these reminders:

  • Solid Waste/Trash Service: Should it be unsafe for Republic Services trucks to operate, trash and recycling service will be delayed until travel is considered safe. Saturday service may be necessary. Please leave bins at the road’s edge and spaced a minimum of three feet away from other objects.
  • Streets: Staff will monitor road and bridge conditions throughout the night and spread de-icer as needed.
  • Irrigation Systems: One of the most common hazards in Kerrville is freezing run-off from irrigation systems, so please turn your water irrigation systems off to ensure they don’t become a liability. When water from spray irrigation systems runs onto sidewalks and roadways, the resulting black ice can cause major problems for both drivers and pedestrians. If assistance is needed to shut off water flowing to an irrigation system, a licensed irrigator should be contacted.
  • Wrap and Insulate Pipes: Always wrap or cover outside faucets in freezing weather and make sure all water hoses are disconnected. This will prevent breaks and expensive repairs. Insulate pipes located in the attic and crawl spaces using pipe insulation. Heat tape can also be used with a thermostat. Always install according to the manufacturer’s directions. NOTE: Do not drip faucets or use any water unnecessarily during an extreme winter storm, especially if there are power outages.

And keep your dogs, cats and lizards inside where it's warm.

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