Winter storm shuts down city of Houston offices


by Rekha Muddaraj / KHOU 11 News

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 6:29 PM

HOUSTON -- It’s a rare sight: open parking spots. Downtown. On a weekday.

But there was plenty of parking Tuesday, with most city and county services shut down because of the winter storm.

“We don’t like to shut down operations,” said Janice Evans, Mayor Annise Parker’s press secretary.

“However, the information we were getting about the weather was so uncertain; we thought it best to just go ahead and do that.”

It’s unclear just how much the shutdown cost the city, but officials say it made a dent.

“People can’t go buy building permits, they can’t take out their restaurant permits, our inspectors can’t go and do their inspections,” said Evans,” So there is revenue loss from that.” Federal entities, like the post office were still open.

Travis Dubose, a law student at the University of Houston, said classes had been cancelled.

“It’s better than having people driving around on the ice,” Dubose said, “Better safe than sorry.”

Craig Keener, agreed.

“People can get hurt in this kind of weather. I’m glad they made a big deal out of it.”

All HISD schools were closed, but the Rice University Campus was open and running.

“All the classes I’ve been to have been full,” said student Brian Barr.