Ice Storm Shuts Down San Antonio

A powerful winter storm effectively shut down the San Antonio region on Tuesday, and the effects may not be over yet. 

Temperatures in the Alamo City hit below freezing as the morning rush hour began. Roads soaked by overnight rains froze over. Portions of major highways throughout the city were closed. San Antonio police reported more than 180 car accidents Tuesday morning and afternoon. 
 
Ezra Vieira said ice on his car prevented him from going to work. “Woke up this morning and the car was just completely covered, and I was like, 'nah.' It’s better to just stay off the road.”
 
The storm's expected effect on daily life was no surprise, and by late Monday afternoon, the list of cancellations and closures was already growing. The city’s 19 public school districts and several university and college campuses eventually canceled classes. Government offices and many businesses closed. The list grew longer throughout Tuesday morning and afternoon.

Dozens of flights were canceled at the San Antonio airport throughout Tuesday. 

College student Zac Vanlandingham braved the cold wind and sleet to take his dog Zeus for a walk in the Mahncke Park neighborhood.

"I think he’s going to get a shorter walk than he usually gets,” said Vandlandingham, adding that the cold was getting to him but Zeus was handling it just fine. “He’s really furry so I think he actually likes cold weather.”

Zac Vanlandingham walks his dog after getting the day off from class due to an ice storm.
Credit Camille Phillips / Texas Public Radio

Still, Vandlandingham enjoyed the unexpected day off from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he’s studying to be a high school English teacher.

“It got me out of school and work,” said Vandlandingham, who also works at UTSA. “Right now I’d be sitting in my first class.”

The National Weather Service reported most of the precipitation had moved out of Bexar County by Tuesday afternoon, with remnants near Converse.

Weather Service Meteorologist Erick Platt said the county would dry out through Tuesday evening. "We should see no precipitation," he said, "and we should see cold temperatures. We'll be looking for a low temperature around 23 in the downtown area and closer to 20 in the outlying areas of the city."

Bexar County was under a winter storm advisory until 9 p.m. Tuesday.

By Tuesday evening, some school districts, the City of San Antonio, and other institutions planned to re-open on Wednesday, pending further weather developments.

Joint Base San Antonio tweeted Tuesday afternoon that all "military/civilian members are to report for duty as normal" on Wednesday.

Joey Palacios can be reached at @joeycules. Camille Phillips can be reached at @cmpcamille. Paul Flahive can be reached at @paulflahive.