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Public Safety

City of Houston
News Release
Monday, January 15, 2018

Dangerous Winter Storm Expected to Impact Houston Tuesday
Residents should plan for freezing rain, dangerous driving conditions.


The City of Houston Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is monitoring the winter weather conditions expected to begin impacting the city on Tuesday. 

Forecasters with the National Weather Service (NWS) say that that Houston area will begin experiencing freezing conditions and cold, freezing rain beginning Tuesday. This will cause very dangerous conditions on area roadways, especially those elevated overpasses and bridges. Tuesday night, the city will experience a hard freeze, bringing temperatures down to near 24 degrees in some places.  This means that any water that remains on roadways will freeze.

NWS has issued a
Winter Storm Warning for Houston from 3:00am Tuesday through Midnight early Wednesday morning. 

What is the City Doing?

The City of Houston has been working throughout the weekend preparing for the potential of severe winter weather.  Houston Public Works (HPW) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has begun pre-treating area roadways to help reduce the risk of ice, especially along elevated roadways and overpasses.

If you see a roadway that has ice on it, you are asked to call 3-1-1 (713.837.0311).  Houston Public Works will be able to dispatch a truck with chat rock to provide traction

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is working with City departments to ensure they have information about the upcoming weather event and are able to adjust their staffing and services as necessary. Updates on the status of City services will be posted at

Slippery Driving Conditions Possible

As with any type of precipitation, such as rain, sleet or snow, residents who are driving vehicles should take steps to protect themselves, including:

  • Give themselves extra stopping distance.  Wet conditions means it takes longer for vehicles to come to a complete stop. 
  • Ensure windshield wipers are in good working condition before heading out on the road. 
  • When conditions are wet or dark, be sure to use headlights.  Never use high beams in urban areas. 
  • Remember that highway overpasses and bridges pose the highest risk of icing. Take extra precautions when driving over them. 
  • Slow down.  Rain, sleet and snow can limit visibility, giving drivers less time to recognize danger.  Slowing down gives provides extra time to adjust to changing conditions. 

Cold Temperatures, Protect the 4 P's

While temperatures are expected to only slightly hit the freezing mark, it's important to remember to protect the 4 Ps (People, Pets, Pipes and Plants) during cold temperatures. 

  • People should dress warmly, in layers, to avoid hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature).
  • Pets should be brought indoors or provided with a warm place to sleep.
  • Pipes that run outside or under a house should be wrapped in pipe insulation to avoid cracks due to water freezing in them.
  • Plants may need to be covered or brought inside to avoid frost damage.
Safely Use Space Heaters

As temperatures drop, residents may seek to use portable space heaters to keep warm.  The Houston Fire Department (HFD) reminds residents of the following safety tips:

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm.
  • Never leave children unattended in a room with a space heater - Children knock over space heaters especially if they are placed on top of wobbly tables or stools and near where the children play. Children may also stick paper or toys in the grates of the space heaters especially gas space heaters. 
  • Keep all combustible materials, including yourself at least 3 feet from the heater
  • Open face heaters should have a screen
  • Provide ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

Electric Heaters Tips

  • Never overload outlets or breakers
  • Don't use extension cords for the heater. If the cord is hot to the touch, turn off the heater and unplug it!
  • Electric heaters permanently installed in the wall or ceiling should have lint and dust removed regularly. Lint and dust will burn!

For additional information on safely using space heaters, visit

Stay Updated

For information on roadway conditions, visit or follow TxDOT on Twitter @TXDOTHoustonPIO.

Please note that icy conditions may cause delays at Houston airports.  If you are planning to travel, check with your carrier before heading to the airport.  Visit for information. 

For the latest weather forecast, visit

Remembering Jim Guidry

Guidry News Service is headquartered in Midtown Houston.
at 4001 Fannin Street, Suite 4109, Houston, TX. 77004-4077
(409) 763 NEWS(6397)
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