The latest on Dallas Winter Storm Watch 2022
North Texas is under a winter storm watch from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Thursday. Forecasters warn that icy roads and freezing temperatures could persist on Saturday. While this winter storm is expected to be nowhere near as severe, widespread and long-lasting as the severe weather that tore a hole in the Texas power grid last February, localized power outages are possible.
We will update this post over the next few days as Dallas-Fort Worth freezes and thaws.
First update: Wednesday, February 2 at 1 p.m.
If you don’t want to bother reading anything else in this article, just take a look at this image from the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. Wednesday shortly after noon, it pretty much tells you everything to expect.
Closures and cancellations
School districts in Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and Richardson closed schools Thursday and Friday. Most area schools appear to be closing at least Thursday. Channel 5 updates a full list of school closures at the other end of this link.
Parkland Hospital is closing its clinics and COVID-19 testing center Thursday and Friday.
If you had a flight scheduled at DFW Airport or Love Field in the next few days, sorry. Airports will remain open.
Are the lights on?
ERCOT, the state power agency that did it so badly last year, says that despite an increase in demand, the state’s grid is expected to remain stable through the storm.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott noted that there could be localized power outages caused, for example, by a tree branch breaking ice that then hits a power line.
Local power utility Oncor said resources “and personnel are pre-positioned before the inclement weather arrives to ensure that any necessary restoration work can begin as soon as safely possible.” This press release continues: “Customers can report outages and receive updates by signing up for MyOncor text alerts by texting “REG” to 66267, downloading the MyOncor app and following Oncor on Facebook. and Twitter, or by calling 888.313.4747. If you see a downed power line, stay away, keep people away, and call 911 immediately.
Good idea to have flashlights and non-perishable food on hand, just in case.
The City of Dallas opened the Fair Park Automotive Building as a temporary shelter for the homeless. Everyone is encouraged to warm up at a library or parks and recreation center during regular business hours. Here is a list of some other warming centers in North Texas.
Driving through it all
Don’t do it, if you can help it. We’re not cut out for that in Texas. If you can’t help it, go slow and steady and give other cars plenty of space. Here’s a corny instructional video that looks like it came from an old defensive driving class.
What about my pipes?
A few tips from Dallas Water Utilities:
- Wrap all exposed pipes.
- Let hot and cold water drip from faucets on exterior walls. Even a net can help prevent pipes from freezing.
- Leave cabinet doors open under sinks.
- Drain and unhook the hoses from outdoor faucets and cover the faucets with insulated covers or wrap them in dry rags.
- Turn off your sprinkler system to avoid bursting irrigation pipes.
- Shut off water to vacant properties with the home’s private shutoff valve.
Cover your plants, bring your pets inside, and (figuratively speaking, unless you’re actually on a boat) batten the hatches. We will spend the next few days.
Alex is a Senior Digital Editor for Magazine Dwhere he previously worked covering news and the arts.…