Just last week, Texas had some crazy winter weather. On Monday, we enjoyed a high of in the upper 60s. It was perfect weather for San Antonio’s march to honor Martin Luther King Jr. (San Antonio hosts one of the largest marches in the country every MLK day.)
The next day, our high was 29 (but felt like 14 with wind chill). Yes, a cold front moved in Monday night and with it came freezing rain. Now, much of South Texas is not prepared for freezing temperatures or icy roads. Cities and counties around here do not have sand trucks or snow plows. (They do have a few trucks that can spray an anti-icing agent on the roads.) None of us have snow tires and the majority of drivers do not know how to drive on icy roads. Luckily for us, severe winter weather is a rarity in South Texas.
By 4 p.m. on Monday with the sun still shining, our school district cancelled school for Tuesday. So did all the other 16 school districts in San Antonio as well as the colleges, court house, city and county offices, and a wide range of companies, both big and small. My husband even closed his law firm and opted to work from home.
This is what happens when we get ice on the roads. The city shuts down. Yes, San Antonio (the 7th largest city in the U.S.) and the rest of South Texas become the brunt of a lot of jokes about our panic and what many Northerns consider an overreaction.
Tuesday started out by 4 a.m. at freezing and as the day progressed the temperature continued to drop, reaching a low of 26. Freezing rain and sleet were steady throughout the morning and early afternoon. We had icicles hanging from our roof and plants. North facing windows became a sheet of ice as did my back deck and patio table. San Antonio has many overpasses and bridges which froze over. Overall there were 230 accidents reported between midnight and 4 p.m., but it would have been much worse if so many of the drivers hadn’t stayed off the road.
Wednesday morning, we woke to 27 degree temperatures and ice still on some of the bridges and highway interchanges. But the majority of the roads were fine. School resumed and by mid-morning the ice was gone. After 32 hours below freezing, the temperature warmed up to 46 by late afternoon. And the temps kept rising over the next few days until by Saturday we were back up to the upper 60s again.
So, for one day, San Antonio and area communities closed. The bad thing about missing school due to a Winter Freeze Day is that the day must be made up. It means that the kids lose getting President’s Day off in February. But they did enjoy having four day weekend here January. Now it will probably be another couple of years before we have to worry about this crazy winter weather again. Or I could be wrong. It did after all snow in December.