Mayor declares weather emergency

February 3, 2011 7:45:52 PM PST
A weather emergency has been declared for the Houston area. Mayor Annise Parker and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett made the announcement in a news conference Thursday afternoon to discuss preparations for the winter weather.

Both officials stressed that if you don't need to get on the road, stay off the roads.

"We have public works trucks loaded with chat rock, we have sprayed magnesium chloride, but the best thing we can all do is to stay off the roads," said Mayor Parker.

The mayor also said that non-emergency city personnel with scheduled shifts between 6pm Thursday and 6pm Friday should not report to work.

"City employees who are non-emergency, this will be one of their mandatory furlough days," said Mayor Parker.

They also urged motorists to call 311 to report any icy conditions.

"We encourage everyone to stay in, particularly in the morning," said Judge Emmett. "Tomorrow night, we go through this all again. So most people need to prepare to not travel until Saturday afternoon."

All area school districts will be closed on Friday. Libraries also will be closed.

Judge Emmett said county commissioners will make decisions on whether or not to open community centers.

The mayor said ERCOT believes any brownout or blackout conditions like those that happened on Wednesday will be minimal.

Winter Storm Warning issued for SE Texas

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm warning for all of southeast Texas.

The watch will be in effect through noon tomorrow. The NWS says a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected. They're expecting between 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulation, with isolated spots of 4 inches. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid 20s to lower 30s through the duration of the watch, according to the NWS.

[Read more on the winter storm warning]

The weather may impact travel. Multiple airlines say they're going to suspend service for most of its incoming and outgoing flights at Bush IAH and Hobby Airport.

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