San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 4th, 2011
Snow, ice, cause car wrecks, shut down city

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At 9:30 a.m. Friday, snow still surrounded the Rio Vista Falls as steam off the river offered some kind of warmth amid 20-degree temperatures. San Marcos Local News photo.

STAFF REPORT

The City of San Marcos and Hays County are closing their offices Friday due to hazardous road conditions from overnight ice, sleet and snow.

The City of Kyle is opening its offices at 10 a.m. Due to the conditions.

The outlet malls in San Marcos are opening Friday at noon because of the conditions.

The icy road conditions also forced all classes to be canceled Friday at Texas State, San Marcos CISD and Hays CISD.

Emergency management officials are monitoring local conditions. Interstate-35 and RR 12 in San Marcos were closed intermittently overnight.

Temperatures dipping to 18 degrees overnight combined with drizzle to create an icy layer over the local roadways. By 10 p.m. Thursday, sidewalks and streets already were icy and automobile windshields were covered with ice.

San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) Chief Howard Williams said there were about 100 car accidents in San Marcos between 10 p.m. Thursday night and 2 a.m. Friday morning. Williams added that police closed down I-35 twice along San Marcos, once about 10 p.m. and a second time at about 1 a.m., directing traffic onto the access roads to allow crews to throw sand on the highway.

Many area roads were dangerous to drive on this morning.

Officials urged residents to stay off the roads until snow and ice melts. Freezing conditions are expected to last until at least noon.

Temperatures will dip to the low 20s Friday night, causing re-freezing of moisture to occur again, creating hazardous conditions throughout the night. Weather conditions are expected to improve Saturday, with temperatures into the mid 50s.

Williams said “everything is okay,” as ice covered city roads late Thursday night and into Friday morning.

Williams said SMPD experienced heavy call volumes overnight, though “nothing too serious, just some small wrecks” and motorists needing assistance.

“We’re taking a lot of calls, but we’re staying up with it,” Williams said. “We’re keeping up with the demand, but we’re very busy.”

Southbound I-35 was at a standstill along stretches in San Marcos as icy road conditions and sub-zero wind chills made it perilous for motorists, comprised of mainly 18-wheeler tractor trailers, to continue toward their destinations.

Williams said street crews were alleviating icy conditions over the Wonder World overpass on I-35 late Thursday night, causing the highway to serve as a parking lot heading South.

San Marcos streets were lightly travelled by vehicles showcasing hazard lights as they slowly commuted around the city.

Williams said the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) was on scene helping with icy conditions on the highways and bridges. Williams said local street crews were also tasked with sanding roads and directing traffic.

Williams said at 2 a.m. that the evening shift and the night shift both were on duty, each of which has seven officers and a sergeant. Williams also said four extra officers were on duty.

Local media reported snow showers in the surrounding area, though San Marcos experienced mainly icy conditions as of 3 a.m. Friday. Well before daybreak on Friday, a coating of snow covered the ground in San Marcos.

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