Icy weather causes more than 200 crashes in Austin area


by KVUE News and KVUE.com


Posted on January 24, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 24 at 2:28 PM

AUSTIN, Texas -- Icy weather fell over Austin Thursday night, causing more than 200 wrecks and closing many Central Texas school districts.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through noon Friday for Central Texas.

By Friday morning the wind chill was in the teens.The high for Friday is 42 degrees with more sun coming in the afternoon. Friday night is expected to be in the 30s. A warm up is expected for the weekend, with 60s on Saturday and 70s on Sunday.

Many schools were delayed or canceled. City of Austin offices were also closed.

Drivers were warned about sleet and ice on roads, but police and EMS officials responded to more than 200 crashes Thursday night into Friday morning.

"I just looked over my car [and] took a little air out of the tires so it would ride better in the cold and ice," said one driver.

Corporal Chad Martinka with the Austin Police Department told KVUE Thursday that extra officers would be on the streets. They’ll also helped the Texas Department of Transportation monitor slippery conditions. He advised drivers to slow down.

"They need to make sure to allow more room between them and the vehicle in front of them to allow more stopping time," said Martinka.

TxDOT had 60 vehicles of its own out in 11 counties. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority also worked with TxDOT to make sure tollways were as safe as possible.

The roads were pre-treated with a liquid de-icing agent. Crews were back out Friday morning to go over more problem areas.

The Austin Transportation Department says to plan your route ahead of time. Know your car, and get it serviced if necessary. Also, stock your car with jumper cables, flashlights and blankets in case of an emergency.