The Latest: Ice keeps some Texas schools closed
Jan. 17, 2018
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on wintry weather in the U.S. (all times local):
Roads kept icy by frigid temperatures are keeping many school systems closed Wednesday in East and Southeast Texas.
School districts in the Houston, Galveston and Beaumont will remain closed Wednesday, as will Tyler schools and numerous other rural and small-town school systems in East Texas. Other East Texas systems will observe two-hour delays in classes.
School districts in and near such Central Texas cities as Austin, San Antonio, Bryan-College Station and Waco will hold classes on normal schedules Wednesday.
Temperatures plunging into the single digits and teens in much of Central and East Texas and the 20s in Southeast Texas were expected to keep roads hazardous in East and Southeast Texas after they were glazed by a winter storm Tuesday.
Snow is falling in the Atlanta area, where many school districts already have announced early dismissal times and cancellations ahead of the wintry weather.
A steady snowfall was coming down Tuesday night on the normally bustling Interstate 75 corridor leading from Atlanta through its northwest suburbs and beyond. About 15 miles (25 kilometers) northwest of the city, the snow was forcing cars on the interstate to slow considerably amid scattered fender benders.
Ryan Willis, a meteorologist for the National Water Service based in Peachtree City, says the forecast calls for 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 4 centimeters) of snow to fall in the metropolitan Atlanta area through Wednesday morning, with localized higher amounts.
WSB-TV reports that the Georgia Department of Transportation was treating roads with a salt solution hours before the first snowflake fell.
The biggest public school district in Texas has canceled classes for Wednesday as bitter cold temperatures promised to keep roads icy for another day.
In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, the Houston Independent School District announced that schools and offices will remain closed for a second day after a winter storm left the city caked in ice. The district has a total enrollment of about 215,000.
Other school districts in the Houston area also announced plans to remain closed Wednesday.
Public schools in Galveston, Austin, San Antonio, Waco and Tyler also had shut down Tuesday, along with the University of Texas in Austin, Texas State University in San Marcos and Texas A&M University in College Station. Most plan to operate on normal schedules Wednesday.
Forecasters are expanding the portion of Georgia that could get snow.
The National Weather Service says as much as 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) of snow could fall through Wednesday morning in a patch that extends into southeastern Georgia.
That's more snow over a larger region than originally forecast, and isolated areas could get even more accumulation. Metro Atlanta is within the area that could get both snow and freezing temperatures, creating the potential for travel problems.
Snow forecasts also are increasing in parts of Alabama, where Gov. Kay Ivey is shutting down government offices Wednesday as a precaution.
Some school systems are canceling classes because the wind chill will make already low temperatures feel near or below zero degrees (-18 Celsius) as far south as the Gulf Coast.
Police say multiple people have been injured in a five-vehicle pileup that included a Greyhound bus on a snow-slicked interstate in south-central Kentucky.
The crash, which also involved two commercial vehicles and two passenger vehicles, occurred Tuesday morning on I-65 near the 71 mile marker at the Bonnieville exit. A statement from Kentucky State Police said multiple people have been taken to hospitals. The extent of their injuries wasn't clear.
All southbound lanes have been closed due to blockage from the collision. Traffic is being detoured onto U.S. 31.
Police urge motorists to travel slowly and use extreme caution due to slick roads and heavy congestion in the area.
Another round of snow fell Tuesday across much of Kentucky and Tennessee leading to multiple school closures and slick roads that caused multiple crashes.
The Kentucky Transportation Department reports that multiple crashes closed a 10-mile section of Interstate 24 in western Kentucky and blocked southbound lanes of Interstate 65 in the south-central part of the state.
The forecast in Kentucky called for up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of snow for sections of central and eastern Kentucky.
In Tennessee, forecasters all calling for up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow in the central part of the state and 1-3 inches 1 inch (2.5-7.6 centimeters) in the western and eastern regions.
Overnight, temperatures are expected to turn bitterly cold, with subzero wind chills.
In Mississippi, ice had coated roads and bridges in 36 of the state's 82 counties, the Mississippi Department of Transported said in a statement Tuesday morning.
Road crews were working to put salt and other materials on roadways, mainly in the northern and central parts of the state.
Mississippi authorities were advising people to limit travel only to emergencies.
Some of the heaviest snow in Mississippi was expected in the state's Delta region, where up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) was possible.
Hundreds of flights have been canceled in Texas, where frigid temperatures have left runways — and roads — dangerously icy.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Houston area Tuesday and is warning mariners of gale-force winds along the Texas coast. Sleet and freezing rain are forecast for parts of the state.
Flights into Houston, San Antonio and elsewhere have been canceled. Houston is enduring 21 degrees (-6 Celsius) and San Antonio stands at 30 degrees (-1 Celsius).
Police in Austin say highways in the capital are iced over and several counties opened emergency operation centers to coordinate emergency response.
The cold front also brought snow to parts of North Texas, where the wind chill pushed temperatures into the single digits.
Low temperatures and dangerous wind chills are closing schools across Kansas.
The school systems canceling classes Tuesday include Wichita, Lawrence, El Dorado, Salina, Wamego and McPherson. Several Johnson County schools, including Shawnee Mission, Olathe and Blue Valley, had previously scheduled a professional development day for teachers Tuesday.
Some colleges also canceled classes, including Wichita State University and Emporia State University.
Much of Alabama is shut down because forecasters say a snow storm with bitterly cold temperatures could cause travel problems.
More than 70 school systems in Alabama were closed Tuesday and others were dismissing students early. Numerous businesses and government offices closed because of the threat. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has declared a state of emergency.
Officials are trying to avoid a repeat of four years ago, when a winter storm blanketed central Alabama and left motorists stranded on roads in metro Birmingham for hours. Teachers and students camped out in schools.
Forecasters aren't predicting a large amount of snow, just 2 inches (5 centimeters) or less with more in spots. But they say temperatures steadily falling into the teens could freeze anything that comes down, making travel difficult.
Forecasters say parts of the Deep South were in the path of a weather system that's expected to bring more snow, followed by bitterly cold temperatures.
The National Weather Service on Tuesday had issued winter storm warnings in northern Louisiana and the northwest portion of Mississippi.
Winter weather advisories covered most of Alabama and much of Georgia as well, and several school districts across the region canceled classes for Tuesday.
Snow was falling before dawn Tuesday in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. It was expected to move into Alabama and Georgia later Tuesday.