A Cold Weather Quarantine Cometh

Houston area residents are being urged to stay home from Sunday through Tuesday as a historic winter freeze descends from the north. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the Houston area from Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon.

The worst is expected to arrive Sunday night going into Monday and continuing for roughly 48 hours, as driving conditions turn hazardous and temperatures plummet below levels seen in decades.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo warn the public to prepare for the possibility of going without power as power lines could come down, trees limbs could break from the weight of ice, and roads could become impassable.

“Our infrastructure is not built for this,” Hidalgo said at a Friday afternoon press conference.

Temperatures could drop in areas north and west of Houston to single digits by Monday night and could remain there for days. The National Weather Center is predicting a 70% chance of rain Sunday night with a low for Houston of 27 degrees. That will remain the high for Monday with snow and sleet expected. The NWS says Monday night’s low will be around 15, and Tuesday we could get back up to 35. Rain will likely continue Wednesday with a high of 40.

The George R. Brown Center is being reading as a warming station for the area’s homeless population starting Sunday.

Residents have grown accustomed to sheltering in place and quarantines in the past year of pandemic-imposed restrictions, and the Harris County Flood Control District’s Jeff Lindner says wherever you are Sunday is where you should stay through Tuesday. Hunker down.

TX DOT is preparing road surfaces for icy conditions but that will not make them safe. Travel should be avoided as road conditions will be hazardous.

Covid vaccination sites are suspending activities through Tuesday and appointments will have to be rescheduled.

photo: KPRC TV

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