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“Dangerously Cold." West Texas Winter Storm Updates

By Public Radio Staff

With temperatures plummeting to record- setting lows, the National Weather Service is warning West Texans of "dangerously cold" weather which has left roads iced over and covered the region in snow.

Find updates from Marfa Public Radio below.

6:23 p.m.: Midland ISD closes campus for the rest of the week due to dangerous driving conditions and ongoing power, internet and cell phone service.

Water leaks at campuses have also caused damage according to a press release from the school district.

4:50 p.m.: The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the majority of Far West Texas including the Midland-Odessa area and parts of the Big Bend including Jeff Davis and Brewster Counties.

Between 1-4 inches of snow is predicted to fall as a storm sweeps through the region beginning tonight and persisting through Thursday afternoon.

Roads are expected to be slippery and officials recommend limiting travel and driving slowly.

1:56 p.m.: Midland ISD announces that all classes will be canceled on Thursday 2/18 due to winter conditions.

The school district specifically pointed to unsafe driving conditions, power outages and inconsistent phone service as the cause for the cancellation.

11:13 a.m.: The City of Midland is asking residents to conserve water due to a large number of leaks across the city. A city spokesperson states the community's water supply is stable but water pressure has dropped in certain areas.

If Midlanders see any leaks they are asked to report them by calling 432-685-7270.

8:23 a.m.: Alpine Independent School District will provide curbside meals at the elementary school cafeteria. Breakfast is from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., Lunch 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. The meals are free for children up to 18 years old. School officials say, if an adults needs a meal also, let them know when you get to the cafeteria. Face coverings required.

Tuesday 4:50 p.m.: A wintery mix is expected to fall across broad swaths of West Texas tonight including the Big Bend and the Midland-Odessa area.

Beginning Tuesday afternoon and persisting into the evening, the storm will drop snow and sleet across the Northern Permian Basin. Later in the evening freezing rain and sleet are expected in parts of the Big Bend. Roads are expected to be slippery tonight and tomorrow morning, officials are warning drivers to look out for icy roads.

3:46 p.m.: Beginning at 9 Wednesday morning, Marfa ISD will provide breakfast for residents at the school cafeteria.

3:40 p.m.: All state-run coronavirus testing scheduled this week for the Big Bend region has been cancelled, according to a spokesperson with the Texas Department of Emergency Management.

Testing will be rescheduled for next week.

2:20 p.m.: Midland ISD has announced due to dangerous driving conditions as well as power and internet outages across the community that its campuses will remain closed on Wednesday.

12:21 p.m.: Marfa ISD will be providing meals to the public beginning at 3 p.m. at its warming shelter which is located at Marfa ISD's cafeteria. This meal was made possible by local grocery stores.

The cafeteria is currently open to the public as a warming shelter where individuals can charge their phones and devices.

11:50 a.m.: With thousands out of power in the Permian Basin, There are currently multiple warming shelters open to the public in the Midland-Odessa area. Officials in Midland have said more shelters can be set up if needed.

All shelters are open round the clock unless specified otherwise.

Shelters In Midland:

Salvation Army of Midland
600 E. Wall St.
Midland, TX 79701

True Lite Christian Fellowship
3001 N A St.
Midland, TX 79705

First Baptist Church Activity Center
2104 W Louisiana Ave.
Midland, TX 7970

Midland YMCA
800 N Big Spring St.
Midland, TX 79701
9 am - 5 pm

Presence Church
901 Midland Dr.
Midland, TX 7970
Open until 5pm

Shelters In Odessa:

Salvation Army of Odessa
810 E. 11th Street
Odessa, TX 79761

The Copper Rose Building
415 N Grant Ave.
Odessa, TX 79761

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church
7601 N Grandview Ave.
Odessa, TX 79765

First United Methodist Church
300 N Main St.
Midland, TX 79701
Open from 1-5 p.m.
Use the. entrance off of Illinois Ave.

10:48 a.m.: According to Oncor, the utility that provides electricity to the Midland - Odessa area over 52,800 people are currently without power in and around the two cities.
Officials are warning that some traffic lights are currently out and that drivers should treat stoplights that are not operating as four way stops.

8:47 a.m.: Alpine Montessori is closed today due to power outages.

Tuesday, 6:00 a.m. Good morning - more than 60,000 West Texas electricity customers remain without power 24 hours after the lights first went out early Monday. Outages could last until tomorrow.

In West Texas, temperatures will be a little bit warmer today, ranging from the low thirties in the Odessa Midland area to the low sixties on the border. But the Northern Permian Basin could also see an inch or two of snow and ice today.

7:11 p.m.: Officials in Fort Davis has opened up the fire station as a warming shelter for residents without power and looking to stay warm.

According to an informational message, the station has food and drinks available and "if necessary, cots and blankets are also available."

7:03 p.m.: The two COVID-19 vaccination clinics run by Midland Medical Hospital will open Tuesday despite the weather. The vaccination clinic at the Horseshoe Arena will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the vaccination site at the Golf Course Road Church of Christ will be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

6:45 p.m.: Marfa ISD canceled classes for Tuesday, Feb. 16. District superintendent Oscar Aguero said because of "the lack of electricity and Internet access it will not be possible to have remote instruction."

The school cafeteria will remain open Monday night as a warming center. Outlets are available for those needing to charge medical devices.

6:03 p.m.: As of 4 p.m. this afternoon, AEP says over 367,000 customers are without power. In a press release, the company says outages will continue “at least through Tuesday, possibly Wednesday.”

More from AEP here.

5:09 p.m.: State-run coronavirus testing scheduled for the City of Presidio on Tuesday has been cancelled, according to a spokesperson with the Texas Department of Emergency Management. Other testing sites this week include Alpine, Marfa and Fort Davis.

"Decisions on other sites will be determined tomorrow. If canceled then we'll work to reschedule for the following week," the spokesperson said in an email.

4:48 p.m.: At Sul Ross State University's Alpine campus, officials don't expect power to be restored until Tuesday. Students living in residence halls with no power or water "should grab their necessary gear and report to the Gallego Center after dinner this evening," said the school Monday afternoon.

The Gallego Center will serve as the university's emergency operations center. Residence halls without water or power will be closed and students won't be allowed to remain in these dorms overnight.

4:18 p.m.: The University of Texas Permian Basin's campus will be closed again tomorrow. Road conditions remain poor and power outages continue. If students have questions or concerns, university officials are encouraging them to reach out to contact the Dean of Students office at deanofstudents@utpb.edu.  

3:57 p.m.: Marfa officials have officially opened up the school cafeteria as a warming center for residents without power. If needed, officials will open up the school gym as an extra warming center and are prepared to keep the spaces open overnight.

2:43 p.m.: Local officials are preparing to use the Marfa Independent School District cafeteria as a warming center for residents without power.

2:41 p.m.: In Marfa, Presidio County judge Cinderela Guevara says power could be restored in the next 6 to 8 hours. The judge says everything south of Washington Street is currently out.

1:50 p.m.: Alpine Montessori will begin classes tomorrow at 10 a.m. Parents are guardians with students at Alpine Montessori can call 432-364-2643 if they have any questions.

1:09 p.m.: TxDOT crews continue to work to clear snow packed and iced stretches of I-10 and other hard-hit roadways. Officials with the agency are strongly advising drivers to stay off the roads.

1:00 p.m.: A third warming shelter is opening in Odessa at Copper Rose Building at 415 N. Grant Ave. Masks are required in the facility.

12:29 p.m.: AEP, which provides electricity to Fort Stockton, Alpine, Marathon, Fort Davis, Marfa, as well as other communities throughout the Tri-County area, says power outages are expected to continue at least through the end of today, and possibly into tomorrow.

12:26 p.m.: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Odessa has opened up as a warming center for residents without power and needing to stay warm. The church is located at 7601 North Grandview.

12:05 p.m.: Due to road conditions, Terlingua CSD is having a delayed arrival time Tuesday. School will now begin at 10 a.m.

11:00 a.m.: Oncor, which provides electricity to the Permian Basin, expects outages to last for hours (in many places, power has already been out since the early morning). Oncor had previously indicated that planned outages would last from 15 to 45 minutes.

10:51 a.m.: Odessa is opening up a warming shelter at the Salvation Army at 810 E. 11th St. for those without power.

10:36 a.m.: Local TxDOT crews from Presidio and Marfa are helping to clear highways, according to the Presidio County Sheriff's Office and have been unable to provide maintenance to local roads.

10:28 a.m.: In the Marfa and Presidio areas, the winter storm has interrupted cell service as well as landlines.

Highway 67 between Presidio and Marfa is open, but the Presidio County Sheriff's office however is recommended residents do not travel.

8:40 a.m.: The Alpine Fire Station will be open today as a warming shelter for those without power, according to the Brewster County Sheriff's Department. The number of West Texas electricity customers without power has increased to 90,000.

Monday, 6:08 a.m.: Rolling power outages are affecting tens of thousands of customers in the Permian Basin and the Big Bend region. Hundreds of thousands are without power statewide. Power companies indicated the outages would last from 15 to 45 minutes, but many customers have been without electricity for longer than that this morning.

8:45 p.m.: AEP Texas, which serves most of the Permian Basin and the Big Bend region has outlined when and how it could use emergency controlled outages "to avoid a large-scale outage." More from AEP Texas here.

6:35 p.m.: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the White House has issued a Federal Emergency Declaration for Texas.

The declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide protective measures for "mass care and sheltering and Direct Federal Assistance for all 254 counties in Texas," according to the governor's office.

5:15 p.m.: Today, Midland has set new records for daily highs and lows.

4:55 p.m.: The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning and advisory for the region through Monday afternoon. Residents can expect wind chills between -15 to -20 degrees.

4:20 p.m.: The Texas Department of Transportation's Odessa District is continuing to discourage travel.

3:59 p.m.: Odessa's Medical Center Hospital will still provide COVID-19 booster shots at its two clinics on Monday, despite the winter storm. The hospital's CEO Russell Tippin said residents with appointments can reschedule for a later date this week if they want to. For residents looking to keep their appointments, Tippin urged them to be cautious and take their time driving to the clinics.

3:14 p.m.: All Midland College campuses and facilities in Midland and Pecos counties will be closed on Monday, Feb. 15.

2:10 p.m.: West Texas continues to see occasional snowfall. The Big Bend region could see anywhere from two to three inches of snow. The largest snowfall is expected in the Northern Permian Basin and in higher terrains like the Davis and Guadalupe Mountains. The National Weather Service expects snowfall to end by Sunday night.

1:22 p.m.: In South Brewster County, the Study Butte community center and the Emergency Response Center in Terlingua have opened as warming centers, . Coronavirus guidelines, like wearing a mask and maintaining social distance, are in place.

Sunday, 12:18 p.m., CST: C, officials with the Ector County Independent School District moved all classes to remote learning. All district buildings and offices will be closed.