Harris County Judge Hidalgo advises safety precautions amid winter conditions

With the current winter weather conditions, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo told a news conference Thursday that officials do not anticipate “hard freezing conditions” like there were last year.

Houston is among areas with a winter weather advisory through noon Friday and a wind chill advisory from 6 p.m. Thursday to 9 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service. The weather service predicts freezing rain and “very cold wind chills” for the areas affected by these advisories.

What they’re forecasting is “light, freezing rain” starting as early as 6 p.m. tonight, Hidalgo said. When it’s cold enough, that rain can cause a layer of ice to form, especially on highways and elevated bridges, Hidalgo said.

“So that’s the biggest concern is ice forming over those areas tonight between 9 a.m. and tomorrow when the ice melts, which should be around 10 a.m. or so,” she said. .

Hidalgo has named several partners her office has worked with who she says are “ready to go” to protect and de-ice the roads.

Shortly after 3 p.m., the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in Harris County shared on social media that the emergency operations center is at a level III heightened readiness activation level, indicating that “[h]hazardous conditions exist but pose no direct or imminent threat to life and/or property.

From HoustonChronicle.com: Live Updates: 71,000 power outages due to non-grid issues

Hidalgo also advised residents of various safety precautions, such as keeping an eye on the forecast, monitoring road conditions and not going out at night unless needed, noting the risk of invisible ice. on highways, overpasses and bridges.

Residents should also check in on their vulnerable neighbors, making sure they have your information and what they need, she said.

They also need to operate their heaters safely, she said, by keeping objects at least three feet away from them.

“Again, our expectation, our hope, is that power outages will not be a major concern this time around,” she said.

She also warned against devices that emit carbon monoxide. People should never use a charcoal grill or portable camp stove to heat their homes, she said.

“Remember the stories of the last year – in so many families and so many people who tried to stay warm with carbon monoxide emitting appliances and grills and ended up being poisoned,” he said. she stated. “So please be careful with this and spread the word as well, as many people are still unaware of this danger and threat.”

Those with questions about shelters or other information can contact 211.


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Susan W. Lloyd