THE LATEST: Schools Reopening, Ice Receding


Update: 5 p.m.

Area schools plan to reopen as the Houston area begins to emerge from an Arctic storm that brought ice and the century's coldest temperatures.

Among them:

--Houston Independent School District schools and offices will reopen under normal schedules on Thursday. They've been closed because of the Big Freeze, which has resulted in kids getting an unexpected five-day vacation around the MLK holiday.

--Katy ISD will be open and operating all its campuses and facilities on a regular schedule Thursday. Its after-school activities and programs, including athletics and fine arts events, will continue as scheduled.

--Tomball ISD will be open on Thursday as well.

--All Cypress-Fairbanks ISD schools and facilities will Thursday. The district notes: "Since temperatures may still be hovering in the freeze zone, we ask that everyone proceed with caution and allow extra time in the morning."

--Spring ISD schools and offices will be open Thursday -- and after-school classes and activities will be held as scheduled.

--Spring Branch ISD will be open Thursday for all students and staff.

The weather has already led to at least three deaths, according to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. 

One was a homeless man who died due to exposure. 

Also, one person is dead after being hit while repairing his car.  Houston police say the man was on the Gulf Freeway at El Dorado last night when his vehicle wrecked.  He then tried to fix it, when another car smashed into him.  No charges are expected.

Additionally, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office says a woman died in the 400 block of Dreamland in east Harris County. Deputies were told by family members the 82-year-old female resident was not in her home after they had come to make their day-to-day check on her.The woman suffered from dementia and needed daily care. She was found a short distance in a wooded area behind her home. EMS said its appeared that the woman walked away from her home and was in the wood line where she succumbed to the cold temperatures and exposure. 

Fire Chief Samuel Pena says the HFD responded to 457 fire and EMS calls at the height of the severe weather.

"We recognize that most roadways have improved, but travel conditions remain hazardous," says the Conroe-based Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, whose message is largely applicable to the entire Houston area. "If you need to get out on the roads, please continue to use extreme caution and maintain a low rate of speed. There could still be ice on the roads today and through tonight as the temperatures are expected to drop below freezing again."

In the meantime, almost all power outages have been repaired, according to Centerpoint.

If you're flying today, both Bush and Hobby Airports say to check with your airline, because the weather is affecting roads in and around the airports as well as the flights themselves.

The weather itself will change dramatically as well. Temperatures could reach 70 this weekend.



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